Summary: Do we truly trust God with our power or ourselves and other things? Concluding look at Philippians especially concentrating on Philippians 4:13
Where and what is your power? Are you (living) empowered? By what means (en toi)
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (NRSV)
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)
Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. (MSG)
13 πάντα ἰσχύω ἐν τῷ ἐνδυναμοῦντί με.
IN all things I have power look around…is this seriously true? Strange don’t you think to make such a statement on a day like this…without power. (maybe this isn’t what Paul had in mind)
In all things I have power (strength, wellness, good health) look around…is this true? Or is it also strange to make such a statement on a day like this?
In all things I have power…is this simply an external comment, stating that I only feel like I have power, or it just seems on the outside like I have power)
When in reality…in many things I have neither strength, wellness nor good health. And so Paul how is such a comment possible?
Paul says, “in all of these things I have power” but maybe that’s because he’s never sat freezing his buns off in a building undergoing Power Upgrades that sits literally powerless. He’s never sat beside me…he’s not here right now and he’s never felt powerless as I sometimes do!
Powerless--- routine struggles of everyday life
mental illness, S.P.C.C. Father/Husband/ Parenting
Fears in life like—Death, loneliness, depression
We don’t simply need a power outage like the present one to remind us of how powerless we can feel sometimes.
What things is Paul talking about that seems to have given him life experience that in all things he feels he has power:
If your thinking what does Paul know about being powerless…
Consider his blindness
Consider his imprisonments
Consider his beatings
Consider his weakness of the flesh
Consider his life
And we find a man speaking from a wealth of experience and practice (see Greek word below)
Contextually Paul is talking about his physical needs in this passage:
Being Fed/Being hungry
IN abundance and in want
IN humble conditions and in extravagant conditions
It is these things that Paul says he has strength or power
(not walking on water as we sometimes jokingly wish we had the power to do—consider how many times you’ve used this passage to mean more than our simple living conditions—I can do all things through him who gives me strength)
But Paul says two very important things:
ἔμαθον (μαvθavw) I have learned/been taught
acquired the habit/custom from experience/practice
αὐτάρκης (άρκew) to be satisfied/content/adequate in myself
μεμύημαι (μuεw) be disciplined in a practical way (I have learned the lesson)
(μuw) (to shut—the mouth)
What lesson I have power by means of (based on) that which empowers me
An important distinction in this lesson that must be applied:
An electrical tool (rendered useless today) has power, but it is not the power! Power given based on what we plug into—or today in the world or wireless and re-chargeable and renewable energy…depending on what the power source is (battery, solar, hydro, wind, wood)
Eg. TV, computer, fridge, power tool, stove, heater, etc…
***Sometimes we struggle when I am trying to be the power or when we make statements like I have power…in these situations what do we do when power is taken from us (like today) or in those brief moments of honesty when we feel helpless/powerless (see above examples)
Other “powerful” churches would be brought to it’s knees on such a day wouldn’t it…No power. What would they do…no lights, no music, no way to re-create the power, the feeling, the momentum…can you have power points without power? Can you be a powerful church without electricity?
Church in persecuted countries like china?
Churches in 3rd world countries?
Church of the NT?
Most people in bigger cities would be outraged at the thought of power taken from them for a period of time wouldn’t they?
Until coming North/to the Island…I had never experienced regular, routine power outages to maintain the power we need for the rest of the year (I’ve been without power) but not planned power outages on a regular basis.
Interesting what day is chosen though isn’t it?
Not Monday to Friday our business world could not function without power
Not Saturday What would run our toys!
But Sunday without much thought given to church going folks (and what restaurant the church going folks will eat at) the decision is made to render our churches powerless (Is this possible)—is it possible to render a church powerless with the flick of a switch? Think about it?
And then return to Paul’s words—IN All these things—I have power!