Here’s the truth: we ALL have needs.
Every day is an opportunity for the most basic of needs to be met: A full belly, thirst quenched, and a roof over your head to sleep in peace. Beyond these basics, there are needs typically found wanting and in waiting:
- There are financial needs to ‘save money.’ You could be saving for a car or a college fund. It might be to own a home or enough for retirement. A lack of savings can create hardships and sleepless nights.
- There are relational needs – singles are in anticipation and hoping for ‘the one’ to come. Married couples want the emotional support of their spouse to feel heard and understood.
- There are needs of significance – that you are put on this Earth to make a difference, specifically, for the Kingdom of God. The desire to fulfill your purpose or calling can keep you searching and walking in faith until it is found.
After taking inventory, you might realize that there are more needs than you initially thought! The truth that you have needs confronts with another fact that Paul mentions as well…
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Hold on a second, Paul. Did you say God will meet all my needs? Not only the basic needs or the big needs? But ALL my needs?
Does that mean I can get out my list of 294 wants and say to God, “Here you go, Lord! Fulfill these desires of mine because your Word says so. I have needs, and you are meant to supply my needs.”
No, that’s not how it works.
Maybe by now, you are confused. Paul seems confident, hence using the word ‘all.’ So how could Paul stand on this promise?
The recipients of this promise were godly givers.
In the context of this verse, Paul has written a ‘thank you letter’ to the Philippians for their precious and spontaneous gift. He writes while in prison, chained to a guard 24 hours a day. The prison conditions are not ideal, yet Paul has inexpressibly joy because God has met and continues to meet his needs. Furthermore, Paul is delighted that in sharing with him this gift, he is blessed more for what they will receive from the Lord rather than the gift itself.
Philippians 4:14, 17, 18 -“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles… not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit… this was a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”
Remember, Paul understands the secret to being content in ALL things (see “The Secret to Being Content”. He also knows the solution for God to supply ALL his needs. Paul had seen the power of giving in his own life and is thrilled that the church of Philippi has finally ‘got it’ They are taking Jesus at His word when he said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). As they give, they are positioning themselves before the Lord to be blessed. This ‘blessing’ is not a future, eternal reward but is for the here and now while on Earth. As they give, they are given more – a continuous cycle of blessing – just as God told Abraham his children, us, would be (Genesis 12:1-4; Galatians 3:7-9).
Let’s get this straight…
We ALL have needs – the internal and hidden needs and those that are expressed and obvious.
Yet we ALL should be givers.
These independent facts seem like a contradiction if taken together.
- If I have needs, I am called to be a giver?
- I should give, even though I have needs to be met?
I’ve seen this happen again and again.
My friend Alex felt called to give a certain amount to help fund the release of my book, “Write the Vision.” It was a challenge because the amount was beyond anything he had given before, but he wanted to be obedient to the Lord. After wrestling through the idea, he gave in to what the Holy Spirit had told him. Interestingly enough, that act of giving paved the way for him to become more blessed since he was faithful to his conviction from the Lord. In that year alone, he was promoted twice and received a bonus that was TEN TIMES THE AMOUNT he initially gave. It just shows you cannot outgive God when He tells you to do so!
There are a few who are reading this story and will automatically think, “I’m ready to give so I can get 10x for myself!” Again, that’s not how it works. We cannot rely on the method since God moves to each person accordingly. Instead, we rely on the Giver, who meets our needs personally.
Therefore, let’s look at the giving the church of Philippi did as a model for us, knowing that God will meet our needs in the process. The Philippians gave…
2 Corinthians 8:1-2– “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
- Philippi was part of the region of Macedonia. As noted, they were not wealthy benefactors – they were giving out of their own need! Paul clarifies in Philippians 4:15 that ‘no other church gave but the church of Philippi.’
2 Corinthians 8:3 – “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.”
- Don’t forget that God’s economy is different than ours – its value & methods do not equate to how we would view it:
- For a person who sows unto missionaries, she could reap a household of peace.
- For another who sows unto a ministry, he could not have the enemy attack his health.
- Again, God knows, and so we trust Him! Remember this: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
2 Corinthians 8:4 – “Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.”
- The Philippians initiated their giving to advance the Kingdom of God. God loves an eager and cheerful giver! (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Philippians 4:16 – “for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.”
- Consistent giving reveals the intentionality of the person – they care. It also grows their faith as exercise builds and expands their ‘faith muscles.’ No one can work out once a month and see muscle develop (Wouldn’t that be great?!?) – it takes consistent effort to see results; The same is with our faith.
The Philippians were godly givers, so Paul is saying, “You have helped me beyond what I thought, and my God will meet you. You have given to me, even out of deep poverty, but my God will supply all your needs out of His riches.”
Here’s what it means for you: this is a promise for givers, not for non-givers. As I look for opportunities to bless others and give with the heart the Philippians have, God will meet my needs. I am giving what I have to bless, and in my need, God will supply that to me. I can trust Him in my lack, and as I give, I know that:
My God will meet all my needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
May it be so.
Have a blessed week!