“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace, while waiting on you. Thank you for the deep spiritual truths in your word. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen
In our quest to study the 4th chapter of Philippians and to reach the promise of God’s provisions we have learned so much about God, ourselves and already begin to understand His provision – learning: that we cannot put anything before God, more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, that the Lord is at hand, and that He has provided ample tools to combat anxiety!
God’s provisions are expressed in this this entire passage! Let us pick up on verse 10 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 9 yesterday.
Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. The church in Philippi had collected funds to help him with the costs incurred by being in prison. It is evident that collecting the funds and getting them to Paul, took some time – time where (without cell phone and a means for communication) Paul was stuck in prison without full knowledge of when or how God was going to provide for him. He was stuck in one of those waiting places that God often puts us in.
“10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:10-12 NKJV
Paul uses this experience to share more with us about God’s provisions. God permitted the delay in the funds arriving. God used this time to reveal to Paul, that whatever state he is in, to be content, and practice focusing on God the provider and not the lack of provisions. Yet by inspiration he penned it to this church, who struggled in their own lack to collect enough fund to meet Paul’s needs. (We have already read that they lacked unity and agreement but there is other evidence that they also had financial needs.) Having given money out of their own need, they may have been tempted to be anxious about their own needs. So Paul used his needs being met to teach them how to get through it.
Don’t be anxious – instead, ask God.
No matter what, be content. Being content is a decision. Once we decide to be content – we may need to fight to stand fast on it, but we know in whom we believe. The state of being content is solid and firm – therefore the warrior, Peace, is there to help you.
During this time God taught Paul how to be abased, humiliated, lowered, and demeaned. The wonderful thing about being in a humble position is that Jesus says the humble will be lifted up (Matthew 23:12). We see this fulfilled when Paul is defended and delivered by God from prison!
Then Paul says he knows how to abound. This should be a study in and of itself. For some reason, many Christians do not know how to live in the blessings and in the harvest and in the bounty of God. Do you?
We will put this concept aside for later.
As Paul waited for the provisions of God, which was being provided through the church at Philippi, who had needs of their own and it took a while for them to raise the funds and get them to Paul – we must point out another Biblical principal at work here. God’s time is perfect and it is not our time.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
As a Jew, Paul surly knew the God in whom He believed and knew God would come through.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 ESV
But why would God use a church full of needs, who would struggle to come up with the funds? Surly there were many churches that could have contributed. Surly there were many Christian all over the world who all could have given a little and shared in the burden, possibly gathering the funds faster. No, God used this poor church in order to bless them. More on this tomorrow.
For those of you who want to go deeper (and those who do not, give it a try anyway) –
“Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Verse 12b
Literarily speaking being full and being hungry are called binary opposition. They are extreme opposites and usually used to show the juxtaposition of each concept to emphasize what falls between them. But Paul is not drawing light to the differences here. He takes it a step further to a literary devise called ‘deconstruction’. Deconstruction seeks to undo the opposites and eliminate binary thinking. Essential saying there is no difference between being full and being hungry and no difference to abounding and to suffering need. Although we have been taught our whole lives that these things are not like each other, that they are opposites and in opposition to each other – Paul is saying they are not just alike, but they are the same.
He utilized this same literary devise in Philippians 1:21 – to live is Christ; to die is gain.
He is embracing a kingdom mindset – He is focused on God. He is seeking ye first the kingdom and knows all the things shall be added.
Hungry? He chews (meditates) on the word of God, thanks Him and rejoices. Full? He meditates on the word of God, thanks Him and rejoices. They are the same as they require the same response and are only different sides of the same coin.
Needs? He prays. Abundance? He prays. Again the same coin as each other in the Kingdom of God – If God has all and is in control of all and provides for us then we really have no need or abundance.
Alive? He dies to self to let the Lord be glorified. Dead? Enjoying the glory of the Lord. And again, which matters? To live or die – in the will of the Father and for His glory what is the difference?!
Yes, this is abstract and difficult for some people to understand – Like God existing both inside and outside of time and space. But if you are understanding – are you looking past these troubles and needs to remain kingdom minded? It is written “It is finished” yet we are still going through it even though it is done and we are victorious!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV
God’s provision and ability to meet our needs is not limited to our financial needs. It encompasses all our needs. Spiritually, we can do all things. Blessing others? Even in our needs we can do all things. Physically? We can do all things!
Why are we in this relationship with God, through Christ Jesus? Because He loves us and provides in every way. Because when we are kingdom minded – the cares of this world pass away and we can see into the spirit where all these things are already provided for. You may have always thought Philippians 4:19 stood alone – but the entire passage, when studied together explains the verse and expounds upon it with such amazing…. Grace (for lack of another word for God showing us such favor and love to give us so much in one small passage)!
If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!