" 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 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." Philippians 4:12-13
Can you imagine being happy and praising God while in prison? Me neither. But that is exactly what Paul states in the above passage. How could he override his emotions of what he actually experienced in the physical to such a deep place of gratitude and contentment in the spiritual?
Simple...Paul had learned how to rely upon the abundant unending strength from Jesus Christ instead of his own that quickly runs out.
Today, I want to share 3 keys of what the Lord is teaching me about what it looks like to operate in God's strength versus my own, and I believe we too, will experience true happiness & contentment just like Paul!
1. Surrender: Walking in God's strength looks like trading my will for His because I trust and believe that it's better. Did you ever say "The Lord's Prayer" in church growing up? "....Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done..." Yes, if we truly believe that God is good and He loves us beyond what we could ever imagine, why wouldn't we want to trade our very limited view of what we think we want and desire (aka our will) for His? I mean, let's be real...He is the creator of the Heavens and Earth, and everything good we experience....so no matter what we think He is asking of us to do, it is always for our best because we are His beloved child. So you gotta surrender. Tell Him you want His will over your own, and get excited for a much better life than you can imagine with Jesus in control!!
2. Trust & Obedience: What if instead of praying our prayers and asking God to align His Word and actions to our prayers, we aligned our prayers to His better-than-we-could-think-or-imagine Word? Have you been guilty of going to God with a shopping list of things you want Him to do for you like I have? Begging Him for things that really at the core have a selfish motive? Uh huh! Did you know that God's Word is so complete and packed full of everything we truly could even desire or imagine...so try to start praying and aligning your situation and desires to His Word. It never returns void and is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword, and it's His promise! Rely upon, draw from, use and obey His Word in your daily life instead of your emotions and understanding.
3. Patience & Perseverance: I know, I know, those words have such a negative connotation it's painful to even think about waiting....but let me tell you from experience, God does something so beautiful in the "wait." He does a life changing and life giving work that isn't commonly accommplished any other way. Giving "it" to God and then waiting with trust and belief produces roots like the mighty oak tree. He's molding you from a child to a confident and bold Daughter or Son of God! As you continue to trust Him and His faithfulness to accomplish His promises, beautiful fruit of His powerful Spirit start to blossom and grow. That blesses not only you, but others while bringing God extreme glory. Don't give up or give into doubt and unbelieve. Believe God is who He says He is and will do what He said He would while you wait patiently on His perfect timing!