“Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,” Philippians 1:2-4
Our verse today is the last statement starting with “always”. Have you struggled with your attitude? I know I have. There are times when I just don’t feel like praying, reading or doing anything.
It’s funny that I live in the freest country on earth, enjoy fruit and vegetables practically off the plant, have every need met almost as soon as I realize I have one and if Paul saw my life today, in comparison to what he lived through, he would think I already lived in heaven. We live in the time of touch-button convenience. We sit in a car instead of walk, we type instead of write, we pick up the phone instead of send a messenger to deliver our handwritten scrolls. Yes, we live in a wonderful time. I almost don’t want to mention that Paul was sitting in a prison cell while writing Philippians. He was falsely accused, beaten, alone, scorned by his old life and in this particular book he mentions wanting to be dead instead of living the life he was in.
And here I sit behind a beautiful 21 inch screen Macintosh, complaining? I don’t think so! Suddenly, my attitude changes. What is amazing about this verse?
“Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,” Philippians 1:4
The gladness and joy. Paul had a light heart. He deliberately thought of things that made him thankful. How could Paul have joy? Have you ever heard the phrase..
“When the pressure is on, give.”
This statement seems contradictory. Almost like the statement, the faster you go, the faster you go. Or if you’re tired, run around the block. Why does this work? It’s all based on principle.
Giving equals receiving. But it’s not just any giving. It’s giving like God gives. God in all His knowledge and wisdom tenderly reaches out to give to a person whether they deserve it or not. He gives the right thing at the right time. This kind of action is above and beyond our human inclinations. It is a deliberate decision of our will to listen and then obey.
Why is giving so important?
Giving creates momentum for the soul and traction for our spirit or inner man.
Our soul, (our likes, dislikes and personality,) stays in a state of inertia (a constant rate of self-propelled growth) until it is struck by an outside force causing propulsion into faster growth, thus giving us momentum. When our soul has momentum, our inner man reaches out grabbing onto things like, hope, agape or love and faith. All of these are spiritual principles. When our soul submits and gives (a spiritual principle also), it puts the pedal to the metal of our growth.
Most importantly, giving surrenders the pride of the giver. In order for the giver to deliberately ask God for the recipe of the right giving action at the right moment or the exact right thing, word, deed or prayer, they must surrender their pride. They must think outside of themselves. They must be humble and humility is the catalyst to growth. Every chemical compound needs a catalyst for change. To see the power of gun powder add the catalyst of fire. To see flour, sugar and yeast react, add warm moisture. These may see like silly examples but they relate. Humility is the catalyst to growth. Add humility to giving and boom you’re in a new time zone of growth.
WOW! What revelations could we learn tomorrow? Or the next day? Or the next?
And all this from a verse and a man, (Paul) who was so joyful and blessed that he could see past all the darkness in his situation. Wouldn’t that be a nice way to live, no matter how good or bad things were? I’d say so. What an inspiration! We can say he was an inspiration now, but he had to grow before he could do this too. On the road to Damascus he allowed humility to be a catalyst in his life. For that he changed the world. How powerful is this concept? So powerful that Jesus Christ died out of humility to a greater plan. I’m very thankful for that choice aren’t you?
God bless you today!