You can do all things through Christ! Do you believe it? Or was Paul just talking about himself? Can you really do all things through Christ? Paul was a Christian, the same as you and I. There are no special privileges afforded any Christian over another though God can do ‘special miracles if he wants. That’s God’s prerogative. I’m still trying to figure out what ‘special miracles’ are because in my mind, all miracles are pretty special.
Philippians 4:13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
I chose the Amplified Bible translation because it captures more of the essence of the original text for this verse. Isn’t it a powerful verse? “I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength.” Wow. What a confident statement from a man who did exploits in Jesus’ name.
I have personal experience regarding the power available to us in the name of Jesus Christ. God graciously worked two miracles in my life at two different times when I used that name to do what I could not do on my own in the natural realm. I’d like to share one of those experiences with you now, but the reason I’m sharing this with you is to exalt Jesus and the power in his name, not to bring any kind of glory to myself. In fact, God can do the same through anyone who listens and obeys his voice. Do you believe it?
A Miracle Over Nature in the Name of Jesus Christ
I was at a week-long Christian festival in Ohio, having a great time meeting new people, sharing what our Lord has done in my life and those around me. There were over 20,000 people at this festival from all over the world. Some people flew in and stayed in nearby hotels. Others drove in with RVs (recreational vehicles) and camped out that way. The vast majority of people pitched tents in what we called, “Tent City.”
It was a hot day and dark clouds were quickly forming over the entire grounds. All of a sudden, a cloud burst ensued and the winds kicked up considerably. Tents were blown over and the dirt paths became instant pools of mud. Mothers and fathers were running around grabbing their children to take them into nearby hard shelters and everyone was in a hurried state of frenzy.
As I observed the mayhem and looked where I could offer help, a strange feeling came to me. I felt that was happening was not God’s will. I never connected it with the devil trying to wash out the event, but I suppose that’s what was happening. Nevertheless, I continued walking and observing. I could not get rid of the feeling that this was not God’s will. It got so strong that I felt I had to do something about it.
I had been a Christian for years, but I had only started studying and understanding God’s Word for the previous two to three months. I didn’t know much of the Bible, but what came to mind was the fact that we have power in the name of Jesus Christ. When that thought crossed my mind, I decided to try it out.
I said to myself, silently in my mind, “In the name of Jesus Christ stop raining.” I walked a few more steps and nothing changed. My thoughts had no effect. There were a half dozen or so people directly around me, but they didn’t hear me because I just thought the words instead of saying them. My heart sunk because nothing happened. I was on a quest for truth, not religion, and if what I had read was not true, I didn’t want anything to do with it. I was in a quandary and walked a few more steps.
“This is not God’s will!” I thought again. I couldn’t stop thinking that thought
Then something very strange happened. All of a sudden, verses from Genesis chapter 1 started streaming through my head.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light.’”
“And God said, ‘Let the waters be divided from the waters.’”
“And God said, ‘Let the dry land appear.”
That’s all I needed. Those verses streaming through my mind, though I was not that familiar with them, told me that GOD SAID — I had to say it instead of just think it.
Without hesitation, I shouted out, ” IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST STOP RAINING.”
Before the last word was out of my mouth, the cloudburst instantly stopped.
Everybody near me looked at me as if I was crazy and one person said, “It wasn’t him — the rain stopped because we were all believing for it to stop.” I knew differently. My Lord communicated with me by doing what he had to do to make me understand what his will and what I was supposed to do to manifest it.
You may not believe what I’m saying here, but that is entirely up to you. I lived it and I know exactly what happened though I cannot tell you how or why God chose me to do this work. The benefit of the work blessed everyone at the festival. The winds calmed and the wild storm stopped instantly in its tracks. People didn’t have to run to shelters and the festival didn’t have to end early. There was a positive, godly effect produced by the miracle.
You Can Do the Miraculous if God Tells You To
I was overjoyed in God’s presence. God had confirmed his Word to me, and not only that — he showed me he was willing to work with me to help establish his will on earth. The phrase of the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven” took on life for me. Yes, it was possible for God to exert his will on earth. It was possible for me to walk with God and manifest his power in the name of Jesus Christ. My life took on an entirely new, spiritual dimension.
A week later, I was walking arond a large lake in a park in Minnesota, rejoicing in my new understanding that through Christ I had power over the universe even as Christ had. I noticed there were several trees with a band of paint around them which means they were marked to be cut down because they had Dutch Elm disease. Trees with Dutch Elm disease are cut down to protect the health, non-infected trees.
I thought to myself, “I have power over the elements, so I’ll save the workers some work.” I decided to use the power in the name of Jesus Christ to get the job done. I had learned from my previous experience that I had to say it instead of think it, so I looked at the tree and shouted out, “In the name of Jesus Christ jump in the lake.”
Nothing happened. My heart sank once again. Now I was really confused. Just a week earlier I had commanded the rain to stop in the name of Jesus and it stopped immediately. I started thinking maybe that person who said, ‘It wasn’t him…” was correct. As soon as I had that thought, another thought came into my mind.
“I didn’t tell you to do that.”
That word was in the first person, “I.” Who was speaking? None other than the one who streamed those verses from Genesis into my mind. Now it made sense. And herein is a lesson to all who follow our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth:
You can do what God tells you to do; you cannot do what you want to do on your own.
Let me say that again because it’s a potent truth.
You can only do what God tells you to do. That’s more emphatic. ONLY what God tells you to do, can you do.
The fellowship I was involved in taught what they called, “the law of believing.” It’s still a common teaching today among the more charismatic, spirit-filled groups. They use the following verse from Matthew to cooberate their teachings.
Matthew 17:20 for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Really? Can anyone who believes move a physical mountain? This same verse is used by the spiritualists to say you have power over the universe if you only believe.
On the surface they appear to be correct. Taken on its own, without the context of the rest of the Bible, that’s exactly what the verse in Matthew says. But every verse in the Bible is contextual. The verse must be understood in it’s immediate and remote contexts. That means, to understand a verse with its intended meaning, you have to consider the verses directly around it as well as all the other verses in the Bible. You have to consider context as well as who the verse is written to and who it concerns.
The entire context of the Bible says that God’s will is the predominant consideration. Have a look at the following verses and see for yourself.
I John 5:14,15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us:
And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we desired of him.
That’s very clear, correct? “If we ask anything according to his will… we know that we have the requests we desired of him.” That’s the key right there — knowing what God’s will is and ‘asking’ according to his will. Commanding something to happen in the name of Jesus is no different. If God tells you to do something, all you have to do is act and it shall come to pass.
John 14:14 If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
To ‘ask in his name’ is to ask according to his will. He’s not talking about a magic formula here. ‘in the name’ of someone has always meant, ‘by the power vested in that name.’ An ambassador is a direct representative of a country. When an ambassador says, “In the name of the king I give you the right” to do whatever, the ambassador is saying, “By the power vested in the king I have been told to extend this privilege” to you.
John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
Again, without him you can do nothing. You can do nothing on your own, and you have no ability to exercise power he has not delegated to you. The word “abide” in that verse is the Greek word, “meno” and means, “to stay within the bounds of.” I did an extensive word study on that word many years ago; it’s used 15 times in that John 15 passage alone! The entire gist of that passage is to think and live within the bounds of Jesus Christ, in other words, to do his will. That includes asking according to his will.
You ca do miracles in the name of Jesus Christ when God tells you to. Be open to God. Believe God. Trust that he knows how to communicate with you, even as he did with me with the streaming of his Word into my mind, exactly what I needed to hear when I heard it. He knew exactly how to communicate his will to me — without hours of prayer and mediation trying to ‘connect’ with him. Leave those pagan thoughts aside — God can communicate with you in a cloudburst, an earthquake, in the most unsettling of circumstances. He knows you and how you will respond.
This article has been quite lengthy but I hope you learned something valuable from it. Thank you for your time and remember — you can do all things through Christ who infuses you with inner strength! Praise God for his goodness, grace and mercy.