I Can

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 
Philippians 4:13

“I don’t think I can do this”, “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this”, “How will I do this for another week?”… those were the thoughts running around in my mind, and the words I said to my dad as we sat in the tent our first night on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I had just killed about 50 ants that were crawling all over my legs under my pants, and now I was nauseous. 

I had told myself before the trip event started that I wouldn’t let statements that started with “I can’t” come out of my mouth. I had been taught my whole childhood the power of my words. 
But in that moment, when I was caught off guard, I found myself saying the very words I told myself I wouldn’t say. 

Later that night I still wasn’t able to relax or calm my breathing down, so I decided to tell my body how it felt. Not ask it anymore and spew whatever feeling was passing through, but instruct it instead. 
I started saying, “I feel great” and “I am not nauseous” and “I can do this”. 

“I can” quickly became the thing I said under my breath during the next 6 days of hiking. Every time I felt like I had hit the limit of what my body, mind and spirit could do— I had to tell myself “I can”

I wonder how many times Paul felt overwhelmed, like he had reached his limit. Maybe when he was shipwrecked? Whipped and beaten countless times? Imprisoned? Maybe when he would go hungry or thirsty? When he was chased off and robbed by towns people? 
Yet in all of his trials and ‘limit-reaching’ times, he still said the words “I can”. But he didn’t stop there — he finishes his sentence by saying how he can overcome and keep going. 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Not in our might or our power, but through Christ who supplies and gives us the strength we need, right when we need it most. 

What would your life look like if you replaced all the times you want to say “I can’t” with “I can”? Would you be able to summit that mountain that looked impossible? Would you be able to forgive the person who did you wrong, or walk in love with your spouse? Maybe you could finally step out into the things God has been speaking to you about. 

In the context of Philippians 4, Paul says verse 13 because he’s talking about living in lack and living in abundance— and how he can do both through Christ. 

Don’t let excuses or circumstances dictate when you say “I can’t” or when you say “I can”. With God, all things are possible and you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. 

Start changing your confession and see how God uses you and where he takes you! 

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