''Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'
- Philippians 4:11-13
The other day I finished reading the book of Numbers and to be honest, I was actually really shocked to see how much the Israelites complained. All the time. Throughout the Torah. How did they not realize and saw what God was busy doing in their lives and where He was taking them?
But clearly they were too distracted by their circumstances and losing sight of the purpose. They were unhappy and unfulfilled, and almost all the time they blamed God and Moses for their sufferings.
They look back at the past and then they wish to go back to Egypt where they were slaves.
I realized that Egypt is the enemy’s playground where he keeps us in our comfort zone. It is our place in this world where we try to find our happiness, fulfillment, and purpose, other than Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in John 10:9-10:
'I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.'
The door (Jesus Christ) leads us to the promised land, but it will require us to go through the desert. In other words, it is not easy the process, the journey of walking with Christ Jesus to receive His promises of a life full of abundance, purpose, blessings, and intimacy with Him.
It will come with its challenges, trials, and tribulations, but every step of the journey will be worth it as it will allow us to grow and be shaped into His character.
So many times, we do exactly as the Israelites did. We want to be a promised land possessor, but we are not willing to move out of Egypt and go through the desert. When the heat (sanctification and purification) and the challenges, trials, and tribulations are too much and it overwhelms us, we often desire to go back to Egypt (comfort zone). The place of bondage, we complain, blame and desire to go back to Egypt to be bondservants to the enemy. When God delivers you from evil, don’t keep in touch. Forget those things which are behind (Phil.3:12) and never lose sight and focus on the purpose. Remember why you started.
A comfort zone may appear as a beautiful place, but unfortunately, nothing grows there… Do not become a desert wanderer.
This morning I read the book of Philippians again and it was quite the opposite of the book of Numbers.
Apostle Paul, what a beautiful character and a true servant and leader of Christ Jesus. Even when he found himself in prison he still stands for the cause of Christ. He never lost his passion and his sense of mission. Paul has an incredible attitude toward adversity. Even while he sat in chains in prison awaiting trial, he still insisted that his circumstances have turned out for the progress of the gospel.
Paul also encourages us to forget of what lies behind and to reach forward to those things which are ahead (Phil. 3:13) and to do all things without complaining and disputing, that we may become blameless and harmless children of God. (Phil.2:14-15)
In Paul’s letter, he also discusses the heart of a servant, illustrating with the humility Christ displayed in coming to earth. Jesus emptied Himself and assumed the position of a man, taking the form of a bondservant and dying a terrible and brutal death: crucifixion.
To be a good leader we need to learn to be a good servant first – servant: a devoted and helpful follower/supporter. (Steps of servanthood Phil.2:2-11)
I have formed you; you are my servant - Isaiah 44:21
Abba Father truly was the source of Paul’s joy, peace, perseverance, and conquering spirit. Just as Paul, Abba Father enables us all to remain leaders on a ‘mission’ no matter the circumstances we face, but discipline, focus, and contentment are all key.
So please, do not measure God’s love for you by how much health, wealth, and comfort He brings into your life. If that were the measure of God’s love, then he hated the apostle Paul
– John Piper
'And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. '
- Philippians 4:19
We have so many blessings in this life, starting with the promise of eternal life with Him.
If we truly learn to surrender all to Christ and learn to submit to Him fully and learn to trust Him, we would see God move in and through us in powerful ways. Either we will humble our lives before God and surrender, or God Himself will humble us. We have been put on this earth for such a time as this – to fulfill God’s purpose and plan for our lives, to fulfill God’s heart for mankind and bring salvation and hope to the world through the message of Jesus Christ.
'For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, '
- Philippians 3:3
We are all chosen to be Yeshua’s warrior Bride’s to go and conquer the promised land!
I truly pray that we would keep on longing and press on for more of Him, for His presence for our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil.3:20)
Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,