The other day I folded a twenty-dollar bill and ripped it just a little. My heart lurched because I know you can get into trouble for destroying money. Then I wondered, why? Because it is property of the Federal Treasury Department. Then it occurred to me. No matter how much I have, the government still owns it, they could devalue it, destroy all of it, or come out with a better version if they wanted and I’d have no say in the matter. I suddenly felt like I didn’t really understand the whole money thing. Whether I have millions or just a ripped twenty, I still don’t “own” any of it and it could be taken away in a blink. Then I realized, that the promises of God aren’t like that at all. Once you do your part to receive the promise, it’s yours. You own it. You can take it to the Bank of the Lord, and like a blank check, write in your need. Like the verses today.
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:12-13 KJV
Here is the literal translation.
“I know how to live in need and how to live with abundance. I have learned the secret of living in every conceivable situation: whether I am full or I am hungry, whether I have abundance or I am destitute.
I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Christ who infuses me with inner strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
This promise is a procedure. There are always two parts to a procedure, part A and part B. Part A is what we need to do and Part B is what God will do.
What is our part in this promise and what is God’s part?
Paul learned the secret of living in every conceivable situation. He learned what part A was. So what’s the secret?
There are five parts. This chapter covers them wonderfully.
- Renewing our Mind, thinking the truth. Phil. 4:8
- Trust in God to supply our need. Phil. 4:6 &13
- Practiced Obedience. Phil 4:9 (becoming self-adequate at doing the nine manifestations regularly and watching God pull off miracle after miracle on our behalf)
- Thankfulness. Phil. 4:6 and 10
- Stewardship. (Which includes giving and receiving) Phil. 4 11-12
Paul learned these principles and THEN the (B) part of the procedure happened and he was ready for anything. THEN he was EQUAL to anything, THEN Christ (the anointing) would strengthen him. Do you see how that worked? I’ve heard Christians quote verse 13 time and again thinking that, like a magic pill, it will cover up all the wrong thinking they have, lack of trust and disbelieving in God. They think it will cover the missing practiced obedience, nonexistent thankfulness and completely misdirected or lack of stewardship. This verse is a promise and it occurs in a context, which provides a procedure for us to follow. Would the airline in your town allow you to leave the country without a passport? No. Then why do we expect God to change all the procedures He set up just so you can do something this one time. We are God’s children. He loves us. He set up these procedures for a reason. But we want everything our way don’t we. We’re selfish, impetuous, and spoiled. We want what we want now. And don’t tell me it will take me getting out of my comfort zone, or put in the practice to get good at something. I don’t like to sweat. Right? Sheesh.
This verse is a revelation to me,
but not a surprise. It is one I’ve used over and over like a band-aid to calm, soothe and encourage my heart. It does so even more now because it goes right along with hundreds of other verses. We have to abide in Him. Abide sounds like a waiting room, but really it’s a gym. Abide is a busy waiting. It bulks us up for the journey. It is focused energy and practice. It takes work. It makes us able to do all things through Christ which strengthens us, but WE must be faithful.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10
“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” 1 Thessalonians 1:12
”Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Psalms 1:1-3
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
My friend, God tells us in almost every line of the Bible that if we focus our mind, eyes, and heart on Him, He will be our strength. How beautiful! How wonderful! THIS is the secret to living a life that you own, with promises that can never be taken away.
God Bless You Today!