Steven Furtick — Need Meeters
Kind of unintentionally went into a mini-series from Philippians, I want to share from chapter 4. Holy Spirit, give me accuracy and precision to speak this word, may it get through my mouth, but may it come from your heart, in Jesus name, Amen. Philippians chapter 4, and I want to link this message with the other messages from Philippians 1. I'm not gonna be dragging anybody across the stage in a chain this week, I figured, it's a bad pattern, but I do want to go to this this great passage of scripture, that was originally like a PS that Paul put in his letter to the Philippians church. And he just kind of tagged it on at the end to thank them for the gift, that they sent to help him with his defense, his legal-defense. And from a prison cell he writes, and he's like full of joy, which is counterintuitive, that you'd be in jail and have joy or lose your job and still trust God and call him your provider or be single, but still know that you're not alone or maybe be wronged, but know that God is even using that to ultimately bless your life and to use you.
And all of this is is taught in the book of Philippians, but I find myself coming back to this section which is like a PS, not only a PostScript to use an old letter writing term, but also it's a perspective shift. So, we're gonna see the the power of a perspective shift today.
Philippians chapter 4:10-19, "I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me". I was laughing when I read that. He's like: thanks I got your gift, it's about time. I didn't think that was very good etiquette, very good thank you, no dedicate. I got the gift, finally, but then he clarifies, "Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I'm not saying this because I'm in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances".
Just touch the person next to you and say: I'm good, I promise. "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", I wasn't born this way, I was born screaming my head off, I was selfish, when I was too, but I'm maturing and I have learned to be content, I've learned that you can complain, but it won't do any good and people won't like you. So I'm learning, amen, to be content whatever the circumstances, because I know what it is to be a need, I know what it is to have plenty, "I've learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength".
I call that the international bench press verse, where you see these posters in every Christian school weight room. All over the world, but it's got a little deeper meaning than that. It's about the sufficiency of God's Spirit in every situation. I just feel good today, I feel relaxed and happy about this message. Verse 14, "Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out for Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only". You were there for me, and I won't forget it. "For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need".
It's kind of confusing, cause he keeps going back and forth like, "I don't need anything, yet thank you for meeting my needs, but I don't need anything". And I'm like well Paul, if you don't need it, can we have it back? Because we need it, you know. "Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 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, please to God. And my God will meet all your needs". I wonder if Paul was just saying this to the Church of Philippi or will he say it to Elevation Ballentine today, to an Elevation Toronto. And my God, in fact I wonder would you say this to the person next to you, my God will meet all your needs, and this part is important, according to the riches of his glory in Christ.
Because I don't have what you need, and I can't always be what you need, because I got my own needs, and that's why I'm tired all the time is because people want me to meet their needs, and I've got so many of my own. If you only knew how much I needed, you would leave me alone. How many want to say this to your kids every once in a while? Not me, I love my kids, they're delightful, but I think that's the most misunderstood verse in the whole book of Philippians. And I want to spend some time with it today.