“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”
Philippians 4:12-14 NLT
Paul could get along happily because he could see life from God’s point of view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he should have. Paul had his priorities straight, and he was grateful for everything God had given him. Paul had detached himself from the nonessentials so that he could concentrate on the eternal. Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place in a person’s life. To what are you drawn when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source of power.
Can we really do everything? The power we receive in union with Christ is sufficient to do his will and to face the challenges that arise from our commitment to doing it. He does not grant us superhuman ability to accomplish anything we can imagine without regard to his interests. As we contend for the faith, we will face troubles, pressures, and trials. As they come, ask Christ to strengthen you. (Life Applications Study Bible)
“I was not taught boundaries.”
What is Paul trying to tell us? Interesting, he refers to living with plenty and little. Something we can relate to is a full or empty stomach. How do you react when you hungry. I am sure you understand what I am asking.
To answer, Paul is guiding us to ensure no matter what, how you feel and where you find yourself, we should focus on God. That is where our strength and peace comes from. I was chatting with a friend the other day, and she made the comment that when we are born we are empty and from a young age we try and fill that foid. An interesting perspective, because from day one we are on this path of learning and experiencing. The same person commented, “I was not taught boundaries.” Maybe, in fact, it’s not boundaries but rather principles and wisdom we need that so we can make correct choices. So if we consider what Paul is saying, no matter what, plenty or little, our focus should be on God. Then the correct choices will follow.
The commentator says that Paul had his priorities straight and was grateful for everything God gave him. He, Paul, detached himself from the non-essentials in life so that he could focus on the important stuff, God and His teaching. Yes, I know there are many out there saying, really? Well take time and study the Bible with all its teaching and then tell me there is no value. Not just superficially.
The commentator poses an interesting question, “to what are you drawn when are feeling empty.” At this point, the question about boundaries principle and wisdom would influence your choice. Where do you draw your power from? Or as the artist would say, where do you get your inspiration from, God or the world? Only you can answer that for yourself.
Last comment Paul talks about receiving strength its not always physical strength and is supernatural. Most times its wisdom that guides you daily through choice and challenges. The Bible and God have plenty of that. This what Paul is referring to. It is always good to have a point of reference no matter what.
“Lord, I thank you for Your teaching. Amen.”