You have never thought that it is possible to supply all your needs through need meeters and it even seems contradictory, but believe me when I tell you that it’s not.
We have been studying this story for the last two posts but with each one, we move a little further to understand where this story is taking us.
In the first one called [Choosing your chains], we saw how the chains are formed in our lives when we analyze Paul’s life in prison. Then we saw the sermon [It’s not over] that teaches us that this is not the end but that the beginning of our beginning.
Now let’s continue with the story where we’ll learn how our needs are met.
Let’s go back to the story where we stayed in the previous preaching about [It’s not over].
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:10-19 NIV
We’re going to concentrate (in large part) on what it says in v.19 because no one can meet your needs when you don’t even know your needs.
Many religious people focus on condemning people’s behaviors without considering their needs.
It happens that many of our behaviors are linked to our diverse needs. The behaviors are bad when we try to supply our needs in the wrong ways but the behavior is good when we supply the needs in the right way.
For example, at some point in our lives, we may have felt loneliness. There are people that when they feel lonely decide to get empty relationships. Moreover, when you don’t correctly supply solitude, it is when lust develops and it’s not only sexual but also a radical change of mentality. In other words, lust develops when the need to relate to other people is supplemented by forms that were not designed to meet that need.
We should be happy to know that the only one who knows what we really need is also the only one capable of supplying it.
By the way, if you think you know what you need, you’re lying to yourself. Our perspective is so close-minded that we usually call necessity what is really a desire.
Many will want God to take away the need but if God takes away the need He would also have to eliminate the provision of that need which would make you forget that you need Him.
Be sure that God will supply your needs so that you remember that He has what you need and that He not only provides what is necessary but also He in himself, is necessary.
Can you imagine if we all had meters in our foreheads that express our needs? Literally, we could see the lack of faith, the lack of peace, the lack of love, and so on with many things.
Surely, a common one would be the lack of joy. When the levels of joy are low it is because the levels of pride are high. Not any pride but the one that makes you think that you deserve many things and that life owes you.
In that case, for God to fill you with joy, first you’ll have to take away your pride. In general, for you to receive what you need, God will have to free you from your expectations.
Continuing with the v.19, to understand it better we are going to have to review the situation that Paul went through in Acts. That’s where he tells the story of Philippians. Those are the ones who Paul is writing the letter for.
7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.Acts 16.7-10 NIV
From v.7 we learned that we will not always understand what God is doing at the moment. Like Paul, who was called to preach in the nations but when he set out to do it, God himself stopped him.
It also teaches us that we don’t really know what we need, because when we get what we thought we needed, we discovered that it was not what we expected.
The great things that God wants to show us will become visible when we don’t see with our eyes, when we stop feeling with our emotions, and when we stop understanding with our mind.
Paul was looking for an opportunity to evangelize, but instead, God shows him a need.
God supplies needs with needs.
Because Paul needed help, God determines to help Paul by showing him that there is someone who needs help. That is why in the passage from Philippians we see that Paul, while still in prison, cares for the needs of others.
The idea of meeting your needs by meeting the needs of others seems very contradictory but in reality, they make a lot of sense. It is the law of sowing and harvesting. The principle of giving.
In v. 7 we also see that Luke (who wrote Acts) says “when they came to the border of Mysia” while in v. 10 he says “we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia”. Note that in his narration he went from “they” to “we”. That change was due to the vision that God gave to Paul because it made all the team –that accompanied Paul– appropriated the vision. That is, they developed unity to fulfill that mission. A unit that apparently wasn’t before.
It is also important to note that it took faith from Paul to follow the mission after seeing the vision, but it took more faith for those with Paul since they didn’t see that vision.
Now let’s continue to see what happened after Paul had the vision and made the decision to go to Macedonia.
11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.Acts 16.11-15 NIV
First of all, note in v.11 that God did not take them directly to Macedonia but they had to make many stops before Macedonia. God guides us, step by step, before arriving at the place to which we’re called to be.
The women of v.13 are the so-called God-fearing women. The people labeled “God-fearing” were Gentile people who believed in the God of the Jews but didn’t know much about it and wanted to learn more. In the case of women, we found that these women had the need to know more about God because there was no one to explain them. The interesting thing is that Paul’s need was precisely to find someone to whom he could talk about God.
It is when these two needs meet that the idea of God is fulfilled when it is said that He meets your needs with the needs of other people.
In the same way, I have the need to share this message that I learned through Steven Furtick and I am sure that if God brought you here it is because he knows that you have the need to listen to this.
You will also notice that in Paul’s vision there was a man, however, when they arrive they meet women.
Can you imagine if Paul had rejected them because they were not what he thought?
The message with this is that you cannot expect God to act as you planned because that never happens.
I will conclude by talking about what happened in the last two verses we read.
To begin with, when Lydia knew about God she also thought about her family who was baptized at the same time.
The only way for our needs to be met is to meet the needs of the world. Maybe you are waiting for a miracle but it is time for you to be the miracle for other people. By understanding this we should offer ourselves before God as instruments.
Now we understand better what this means: “So my God will provide you with everything you need, according to the glorious riches that you have in Christ Jesus.”
I hope this message has really helped you change the perspective regarding your needs. It is no longer what I need but what others need.
By the way, I am pleased to say that I have been using the Ulysses application for years to write all these articles until a few days ago the company behind Ulysses became official sponsors of my content. It’s like a confirmation of this message.
That’s why I recommend you try their app that can be downloaded for free and has a 14-days-free subscription. [Click here] to download it for your iPhone or iPad and [Click here] to download it for your Mac.
I am very happy to be able to have this new relationship with Ulysses in order to continue publishing all this content on a weekly basis.
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See you in the next post.
- Need Meeters | Steven Furtick | 2018.08.05 | [Link]