Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China from the mid 1800’s until his death in 1905. His personal commitment to the mission was great, (some say too much so) as many of his family dies as a result. One thing Hudson new was nothing he did or accomplished was of his own doing, it was God working through him.
Many folks today want to skip over this verse and make the claim that; Philippians 4:13 “I (They) can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”. In many circles this has become a rallying cry for health and prosperity, but does it really mean that?
The answer is an emphatic NO! (See Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ?) Those who would and are teaching such are either ignorant or heretics. Either way it is dangerous to toil with the Holy Word of God.
As always neglecting to take in the Whole Counsel of God is poor bible exegesis and why eisegesis is such a danger to true interpretation and right explanation of scripture. Consider the examples here from Philippians; one would think anyone really interested in getting to the truth of God’s Word, would at least read the context of the Chapter. If you read Chapter 4 It starts with “Therefore” meaning we need to go back to Chapter 3, which starts with “Finally” begging the question finally what? So we are headed to Chapter 2, and on it goes, the Whole Counsel at a minimum of what Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit intended.
For it is God – It is God, all about God always about God and NEVER ABOUT US,
which worketh – He alone does the work, we are powerless to do good apart from Christ
in you – He just uses us as the instrument to accomplish He works; Our strength (Phil 4:13) is insufficient to do anything
both to will – Any and all good we do is because of God’s will, that is He works in us to desire to serve Him righteously
and to do of his good pleasure. – and for His good pleasure, that is obediently serving His will for our lives and submitting as a bondservant to His working through us
The Forerunner Commentary has the following on this verse: But we should understand that He gives us the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures.
Hudson Taylor understood the servants relationship with God. He gave up asking for help or asking if he could help finally getting the Right Attitude by submitting and asking God to work through him.
Today we all face the same questions. We may not be Hudson Taylor’s serving on foreign mission fields but we all have our own personal mission field, whether its at home, work, school it does not matter. The questions are simple:
Are you asking God to work through you today?
Are you asking God for the desire and power to accomplish His will, not our pleasures.