I Can’t … But I Can … But “I” Can’t

It’s a mystery, a perplexing situation. We are to do everything we can to be a witness to the world, warning and teaching others about the Gospel, helping them mature in the faith. But no matter how hard we work, how strenuous our endeavors … our strength isn’t enough, we don’t have what it takes.

Life’s is hard.

So why tell us do this in the first place? Why does He make such a demand if He knows we can’t do it? Because He works it all Himself in and through us. Paul talks about this in Colossians 1.29 … To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

I am bringing this up because recently I was introduced to a powerful hymn from CityAlight. Tim Challies writes about this music ministry out of St. Paul’s Castle Hill Church in Sydney. One hymn, Not I, Yet Through Christ In Me, dives deep into this wonderful mystery and explores the rich theology of God’s indwelling power and presence. It took 12 weeks to write and rewrite this hymn. They struggled through the words, had many rewrites, and made every effort to stay true to the Word and empower the hymn singers to the reality of ‘not I … but through Christ.’

CityAlight shares with Challies …

Having Christ in us does not mean we do no more work, and neither does it mean we do it all. Rather, we contend and we contend with his energy. Even our final resurrection is made possible by the gift of Christ in us. He will bring us to glory. In our weakness he is strong, and he will complete the work he has begun. He himself is within us, leading us home, step by step. Every believer has been given this gift. It’s worth singing about!

I encourage you to read the lyrics, see the richness and fullness of this hymn …

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer
There is no more for heaven now to give
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing, "All is mine"
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side, the Saviour He will stay
I labour on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need, His power is displayed

To this I hold, my Shepherd will defend me
Through the deepest valley He will lead
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven
The future sure, the price it has been paid
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And He was raised to overthrow the grave

To this I hold, my sin has been defeated
Jesus now and ever is my plea
Oh the chains are released, I can sing, "I am free"
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For He has said that He will bring me home
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
All the glory evermore to Him
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

Maybe even watch CityAlight sing it at St Paul’s Castle Hill … click here.

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me

Paul, 1 Corinthians 15.10

I can’t … but I can through Christ in me. And you can too.





2 responses to “I Can’t … But I Can … But “I” Can’t”

  1. Sunday (1/16) Sneak Peek – Muddy Shoes by Todd Avatar

    […] challenges us what we are to be doing during times of waiting. For the song, see my previous post (here). For the Scripture … read below […]


  2. A Song, An Episode, A Statement – Muddy Shoes by Todd Avatar

    […] I shared about Not I, But Through Christ in Me (Read that here – only after you finish this article LOL). But this week, it’s another tune that God […]


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