|Photo credit – Jason Walton|
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
This may be one of the most quoted – and misused – promises of God in scripture. I mean, what is being said here? Is this prosperity gospel? If I am a Christian, will I be healthy, wealthy and wise? That’s what some people believe. Some preach it from their pulpit. But that doesn’t always match up with what I see around me.
In my middle class America, I am aware with how out of touch I am with actual “need”. A dictionary definition of the verb “need” reads, “require (something) because it is essential or very important.” Well, according to this, I “need” a nice iphone. I make calls and texts, send emails, maintain my calendar, do math calculations, take photos, keep my shopping list, check the weather, keep up with friends and even read my Bible on it! I also “need” a roomy vehicle, because it’s a good distance from my nice neighborhood to all the places I need to go. According to the dictionary definition, my teenaged daughter “needs” the popular clothing brands and the latest, greatest make-up palette. Those things are important to us.
It’s pretty easy to start viewing things we are accustomed to as necessary for functioning. (A big cup of coffee in the morning, anyone?) The truth is that, for most anyone who reads this, your basic needs – according to Maslow’s Hierarchy – of water, food and sleep are met. The majority of everything else qualifies as “want”. Nonessential.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Is this His promise to give me the things I want? Hardly. This verse is a conditional statement. IF you delight yourself in the Lord, THEN he will give you the desires of your heart. It’s not conditional in that God will only give you good things if you find your delight in Him. God is sovereign and in His wisdom will only give you what is best for you and what will further His kingdom work – regardless of what you do. The statement is conditional in that you (and I) will desire what He chooses to give us if we are continually finding our joy in Him and not in other people or things.
Praise God, who knows and takes care of exactly what we need.
Great post, Lauren, and I love the way you prised out the culturally-ordained 'needs'.
In many ways life was best when I had that which I needed; a cot in a dirt-floored hooch, k-rations, my weapons, a bottle of iodine (to purify local water), a Bible, and a brief that allowed me to go forth and wreak havoc upon those who would abuse the innocent.
A good, hard, simple, and luxuriously lethal life.
#2 at FMF this week.
Lauren Sparks says
Thank you for reading and commenting Andrew.