As this year comes to a close, it’s vital that we take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace, and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this week be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Do you know that your God longs to strengthen you? This verse illustrates a powerful spiritual principle that our heavenly Father longs for you to know today. You were never meant to go through this life alone, living in your own strength. The God who formed the mountains, filled the seas, breathed life into dust, and sustains every living creature longs to strengthen you for whatever lies ahead.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “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.” God can do “far more abundantly” than you could ever dream in your life, “according to the power at work within [you].” The Holy Spirit, the power of God for all the earth, dwells within you. Just as he empowered the Apostles for the advance of the gospel through trial and tribulation, he will empower you. Just as he spoke to the Apostles, telling them where they should go and what they should do, he longs to lead you.
You can do all that God has called you to. Whether it be victory over sin, engaging in difficult confession, working biblically rather than according to the world, seeking unity and fellowship with those that bother you, or simply seeking God with all your heart, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you today if you are willing to receive.
To be strengthened by God begins by declaring our inability. God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When we try and live in our own strength, we become unable to receive the grace of God. God’s grace is never forced on us, but rather it is readily available to all those who acknowledge their need of it. God cannot empower you to experience unity with a fellow believer if you try and engage in relationship apart from the inner work of the Holy Spirit. He cannot empower you to experience victory from sin if you don’t take time to receive his love and follow his leadership moment by moment.
To be strengthened by the mighty hand of God is to stop living in your own strength and instead wholly rely on his. God longs to “do far more abundantly than all [you] ask or think” if you will lean into him for his love, power, and guidance. He has plans far above anything you could ever dream of, and the path to those plans begins with following him moment by moment today. He will faithfully guide you into all the abundant life he has for you, but you must be willing to follow him and live by his strength.
Take time in guided prayer to meditate on the strength of God available to you, acknowledge your need of his help, and receive his grace.
1. Meditate on God’s desire to empower you to do all he has planned for you.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13
2. Acknowledge your need of God’s help in every area. Tell him you need his help for victory over sin, your relationships, and for the tasks set before you.
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
“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
3. Take time to receive God’s presence and experience his grace. Ask him to fill you with a desire for holiness. Ask him to fill you with love for others. Ask him to reveal his path to you today that you might follow his leading moment by moment.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” 1 Peter 1:14-16
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10
In the context of our verse for today, Paul describes an important spiritual principle in Philippians 4:11-13:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Trust God in whatever season he’s leading you through. Whether you find yourself with plenty or little, difficulties or ease, you can find your contentment in the gift of abundant relationship with your heavenly Father. All that is good comes from his hands alone. May you be strengthened to find joy, peace, and contentment in the presence of your loving Father.
Extended Reading: Philippians 4