Updated: May 18
"I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:12-13 (ESV)
I don’t know if I fully understood what it meant to make something or someone an idol until now.
I read in the Word many times about putting people or things in place of God, but none of it made sense because I didn’t know what true surrender was.
The other day, I watched a video on Facebook from a man who has a ministry for Christian singles. He said something that indirectly answered a question I’ve had for years: How do you know when you're ready to move forward with a desire that God has placed on your heart?
The answer that came to my mind was so clear that I couldn’t have missed it even if I tried. You’ll know you’re ready when you aren’t looking to it to fill a void in your life. When you can say, “Whether this happens or not, I am good. I am content.”
And not only say it, but also surrender those things that have your heart to the Lord with no expected outcome other than to grow closer to Him.
For years, I've looked to business and relationships to make me feel worthy of love and belonging. None of it did, because it wasn't supposed to.
There was always something (Someone) missing. And He was waiting for me to surrender the things I feared the most to Him.
I cannot emphasize this enough, but only God can make us whole.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” - Philippians 4:11-13 ESV
Philippians 4:13 is one of the most popular, misquoted verses. People often cut and paste the scripture to mean that they can do anything and everything they want.
Paul was telling us in that passage that God gives us the strength to be content in every circumstance. God is our sufficiency, and He’s all we need.
We often say, “If only I had this or that things would be better.”
Being content is understanding that only God can make you whole. What most people consider "blessings" aren’t what makes you who you are. Yes, they can be beautiful additions, but they don’t define you.
Being content is understanding that what we deserve is eternal torment. But because of Jesus’ sweet love for us, He sacrificed Himself to save us from what we deserve and reconcile us to the Father.
Blessings in the eyes of the Lord are often a matter of changing our perspective and being grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we’re lacking.
The world tells us to strive for happiness, but what the world has to offer is only temporary. The joy that comes from our Heavenly Father is everlasting and can sustain every hardship.
I can admit that for years I believed my purpose was to encourage people to chase their God-given dreams and use their gifts to make a difference in the world. I can also admit that although that sounds great to the average person, it was based on my understanding of God and the Word.
It was not based on understanding God's heart and the correct interpretation of the Word. Thank the Lord for growth!
I encourage you to define purpose through the Word. Get to know the Lord, His heart, and what He says about you.
Life is short, and it isn't about making our dreams or heart's desires happen. Our purpose is to be who God created us to be and walk in obedience to His Word.
I don't believe He puts desires in our hearts to not fulfill them, but they need to be surrendered to His plan and timing.
You are not what you have/don't have or what you do/don't do. You are who God says you are.
Only God can complete you because He created you to be in an inseparable relationship with Him. You are His sons and daughters.
That's who you are.
So how do you know you’re ready to move forward? When you can honestly say, “I trust you Lord right where I am as I am.” And when your obedience follows.
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Do great things with God.