New International Version
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.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” was my baptism verse given to me way back in 1989, and it has proved to be a great promise to hold on to.
Yet we often fail to see the context of the promise and so don’t see how this it works in practice. Paul is commending the Philippians for doing as Jesus commanded, to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”, so that the second part will prove to be true”…and all these things shall be given to you as well.”
In the Book of Haggai, the prophet explains that the poverty, high inflation and struggle for survival that the people were experiencing was due to the fact that they had put God’s priorities too far down their list of priorities. “Is this a time for living in panelled houses while the house of God lies in ruins? …You expected much but see it turned out to be little …Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew…” (from Haggai 1:3-11). What a contrast to the Philippians’ generosity in extreme circumstances!
Yet Haggai also promises that if they would put God’s glory and honour first, He would essentially, “supply all their needs according to His riches”.
It is not just about money, though, or only for those called to “full time” ministry. Everyone is called to live by faith. Those needs may not be financial; I depend on God for physical capacity to do my job, for energy and time and opportunity just as others of us have the choice to worry and fret or trust God to deal with our job security, family challenges, illness, time pressures, life-controlling issues…
It seems counterintuitive. When we are in survival mode, we think, “I’ll get through this rough patch then, when I have more time, I will get back to focusing on my faith [be that church, learning the Bible, serving, personal devotions etc].” But the opposite is true: put God first, pursue our relationship with Jesus above all else, and He will give us ALL we need in other parts of our lives. Including that most precious of resources: TIME.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for giving you the leftovers of my time, for struggling to survive and just doing what each day demands instead of pursuing You above all else. Help me to walk by faith, not by sight, and to place all my worries and concerns in Your hands. Help me to truly know what it means to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. I know then that you will fulfil Your part of that bargain, that You will supply what I and my family need. Amen.