Peninsula Community Church
August 11, 2019
Philippians 4:13; 19-20 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Paul was an incredible disciple and apostle for Christ. Paul had experienced just about everything in his life. He had great successes. He had suffered great setbacks but like Job, Joseph, Daniel and many others throughout Scripture; they were the bounce back kids. I remember not too long ago Bill Clinton was called the teflon president because nothing would stick to him. It is also noteworthy that in several articles I read that President Reagan and Thomas Jefferson had also been given similar titles. While these were meant to be negative attributes, we understand that when we are God’s people we are positioned for that kind of lifestyle so that nothing that is thrown at us has to stick to us or define us. We can overcome all things because of God’s grace and His love for us.
That is why Paul could make these two amazing statements. One, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and two, “My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” It is a fact that God will empower and strengthen us to accomplish His will and adapt to the changes in life that come our way. It is God’s supply that positions us for Kingdom results. It is God’s supply that positions us for obedience. In obedience God provides everything we need to fulfill God’s purpose.
Throughout Scripture men and women of God had moments in their life that seemed devastating and many were confronted with great change and new direction that amazed them, but these changes were not a surprise to God. Sometimes we struggle with these changes, but God uses them to change us and develop in us all that we need to be so that He is glorified.
As I have studied so many of the stories in the Bible, I have found something amazing. Think about this. Job had lost it all but he had his “though He slay me, yet will I serve Him” moment (Job 13:15). He knew His confidence was in God and not in his possessions because He knew his redeemer lived and that He was in an eternal relationship with Him (Job 19:25). Joseph had his “what you desired for evil, God turned it for good” moment (Genesis 50:20). Joseph could say that because the presence of God had been with Joseph throughout his journey from the pit to leadership in Pharaoh’s court. Daniel had his deliverance moment when God shut the mouths of the hungry lions (Daniel 6:21-22).
The three Hebrew children had what I call the “so what” moment in their life. The king was going to cast them into the fiery furnace and when the king asked them what happens if they are burned up and not delivered. Their reply was “so what, we will still worship God.” They trusted that their God was big enough to protect them and provide for them (Daniel 3:16-19). Jonah had his moment in the belly of the whale where he had to come to terms with his need to be obedient to God’s call (Jonah 1:17). We could go on but I think you get the message. No matter what we face we will and can have a God moment that forever changes us and move us to a greater glory and a greater definition of who we are in Christ.
I am amazed that while the events these men faced did not define them, it also did not deter them from being or becoming all that God had for them. In fact, the very thing that could have defined them in reality jettisoned them into a greater purpose in God’s kingdom. This is a reality for us as a church and as individuals.
Clayton spoke about obedience a few weeks ago. Obedience is an amazing concept, because when God directs our steps, we do not always understand it nor do we always accept it, immediately. Sometimes God has to repeat Himself to get us to hear what He is saying. But this we know, without obedience there is no growth and there is no forward movement in Christ. We will be destined for mediocrity and will be less than what God has for us, if we are not obedient.
For the few moments we have, let us look at these promises this morning. First of all, Paul states that I can do all things through him who strengthens me. No matter what was before him and no matter how hard the difficulty, he knew where his strength and purpose came from. No matter the changes that he experienced, he knew that his strength was from God almighty. I love the definition of this word in the Greek. To strengthen means “to pour power into.” Think of it this way. When I was a teenager I worked on a nursery. In the summer, in the deep south, it would get extremely hot with very high humidity. We would be working in the fields cultivating the plants. The sweat would be pouring off of us but when we took our break the first thing we would do is head for the water hoses. We would pour that water over us and drink the coolness of the water. That is what God’s strength is like. When we are tired, parched, and weary of the task, He strength is poured into us and over us like cool water on a steamy hot day.
The fact is, unless He strengthens us we will not be strong at all. We can attempt great things apart from God but they will have no eternal value whatsoever (John 15:5). When it comes to our deeds the fact is we can accomplish a lot in life. We have been created in the image of God and even for those who do not serve God it is possible for them to accomplish great things. We can build wealth. We can build success. We can have favor with people. But, if the things we build are not kingdom minded, kingdom oriented, and eternal in their purpose whatever we build will fall short (1 Corinthians 13:11-15).
Secondly, we find here that Paul makes this amazing and powerful statement. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. We need to make one thing clear, Paul’s wording here is not a license to do whatever we want and then expect God to provide. It is however only when we focus on God’s plan and purpose for us that He will supply our every need. He may not supply our wants but He will certainly supply our needs.
It is only as we are in the word of God and we are faithfully praying for God’s will to be accomplished and we are obedient to that calling that we find His supply at hand. That is why I love the words of the great missionary to China, Hudson Taylor, who stated “Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.”
A good friend of mine who just passed away a few days ago used to say that God owns a cattle on a thousand hills, but He also owns the hills (Psalm 50:10). He has the ability and the capacity to supply every one of our needs. Peter in fact stated that He, God, has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). He can and He will when we submit our ways to Him.
So what is your need? Where do you look for your supply? I trust this morning that it is in the workings of God and not in your own power or in your own strength. I trust that you will look to Him from this day forward for God to supply you with all you need. Let us pray!
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Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom