I can remember as a young Christian Philippians 4:13 was my favorite verse, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Admittedly, I focused too often on the first half of the verse, “I can do all things” using this as a self-empowerment exercise. However, if you look at Paul’s writings in context, he actually emphasized the last half of the verse, “In Christ who strengthens me.”
Earlier in Philippians 3, Paul called the accomplishments he achieved as a result of an “I can” mentality as “loss” and “rubbish” in verses 7-8, 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
The emphasis to Christ-Followers is no longer “I can” for “I” has been crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20 states this clearly, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. It is no longer “I” but “Christ living in me.” So, I can do all things not because of me but because of the power, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, humility of Christ who lives in and through me.
Once you get this “Christ living in me by faith” mentality there is such confidence not because of “me” but because of the all-powerful God within me. “I can do all things IN CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.”