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Philippians : Chapter 4

15)  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16)  for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17)  Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18)  I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19)  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20)  To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Final Greetings

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

God Our Provider
Sammy Tippit: I’m with Dave Butts, and we’ve been talking about prayer. Dave has been teaching us so many important things. At the very beginning, he taught us that prayer grows out of a relationship with God, this intimacy with him. We converse with him, and it has been so wonderful, Dave. Now one thing people may misunderstand… I think we probably need to clarify this.
We’ve been saying, “It’s not just something for me. It’s focusing on God and praying for others.” You may think, “Well, does God care about me?” He does. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them to pray first with their focus on God and second with their focus on kingdom praying, as we were just talking about in our last session. Then he taught them to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Dave Butts: That’s right.
Sammy: God will meet our needs. When our focus is on God and we’re praying for others… Where does the role of bringing your needs to God come into this whole thing?
Dave: It’s very important to pray for our own needs, but I want you to see where Jesus put it. I mean, ultimately it’s last.
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: “Take care of worship. Pray about the kingdom. Oh, by the way, I also invite you to ask me to take care of your needs.” We typically turn that on its head.
Sammy: Right.
Dave: We make most of our prayer about us. If we’re going to see God work in powerful ways in our lives… I’m convinced we need to put it back into this Jesus order in which we focus on the Lord, we focus on his kingdom, and then we understand he invites us, not in a grudging way, not like, “Oh well, I guess so.” No, no, no. This is the Father. This is the one who loves us.
This is the one who literally is inviting us to come into his presence and hear him say, “My child, what do you need? What is it that needs to happen in your life that I can take care of?” Now I want to tell you that I believe personally that the Lord taught us this because he wants us to develop a lifestyle of dependence, not independence.
There’s a tendency for us to start thinking in terms of, “I’m going to work hard. I’m going to do this, this, and this. I’m going to provide for my family. I’m going to do these things and this thing. Yeah, I’ll pray, but really, I’m going to do fine whether God does anything or not.” That’s a dangerous, dangerous situation to live in.
We learn to trust ourselves, and we don’t discover the amazing things God has in store for us. We must learn to live a life of dependence. Dependence happens, though, when we learn to ask. This is why Jesus gets down to the most basic thing: daily bread.
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: “I need something to eat. I have to have that.” Particularly 2,000 years ago, bread would have been the staple of life. They needed to have grain. They needed to have that to keep going, so when he talks about daily bread, he obviously doesn’t mean, “Only ask for bread,” but he’s talking about the necessities of life. He isn’t talking about luxuries.
Notice Jesus did not say, “Father, give me a big mansion,” or, “Give me great wealth.” Those are not the things… I’m not saying God doesn’t sometimes do some extraordinary things like that, but what we’re talking about here, the direction of Jesus, is, “Depend on me for the basics of life. I’ll take care of you.”
Sammy: Let me ask you a couple of things you can comment on. See what you think about this, okay? When Jesus taught them to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” he had just taught them to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” When you begin to pray kingdom prayers, you start praying the impossible about that which you can’t do. You can’t bring people to Christ. You can’t send a revival to a community. You begin to pray something that’s beyond you.  You’re getting into a realm of faith. When you start praying about those things, your needs expand because they are no longer just for yourself. My friend I was telling you about, the widow lady… She’s asking God to meet her needs, but now her needs have grown because she’s praying the kingdom for these other kids over here. So the relationship of that… Just give me a comment on that, and then I’ll go to the second one after you do that.
Dave: Yeah. Well, that’s absolutely true. This is that old prayer that was used years ago, the prayer of Jabez. “Lord, expand my territory,” or, “Extend my tent pegs.” That idea is, “Because of all you’re doing, God, I need more room. I have to do more here because of the way you’ve already blessed, because I’ve been praying about the kingdom. I’ve been praying for you to do what you want, to do what’s on your heart. Now, Lord, the needs aren’t quite like they used to be.”
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: I think that’s a very, very accurate understanding. Sometimes we find ourselves praying beyond our own needs because we’ve already prayed the kingdom.
Sammy: Okay. Now the second thing I wanted to ask you about in this (you brought this up) was… Our necessities, those basic needs, not necessarily our wants or desires… Yet there is a Scripture that says, “Trust the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: What is the difference between God meeting your needs and then God fulfilling desires you might have that may not be needs? How do we discern that? How do we know how to pray about that?
Dave: First of all, let me just say in a very practical way that everybody is different in this, and we’re all in a learning process. We’re journeying together on this, so it’s not like everybody gets to the same place at the same time or everybody receives from God the same sorts of things. This isn’t a pattern. No, this is a relationship.
This is a matter of, “Do you trust your heavenly Father to take care of you and to take care of you in a way in which you could look and see someone else in your family who seems to have so much more than you, and you don’t seem to have all that much…? Will you trust him?” That’s what it ultimately comes down to.
When we start talking about amount, I think we’ve probably veered into an area of danger, because ultimately it isn’t about how much I get from him or even what I get. You quoted that
Scripture which I think is very, very good and appropriate for us to look at. It says God “…will give you the desires of your heart.” What do you desire? What do you really desire?
Sammy: The kingdom prayer first…
Dave: Yeah. You pray the kingdom prayer, and you’re going to find yourself praying how David prayed in Psalm 27:4. “Lord, there’s just one thing I ask of you, one thing I seek: that I may dwell in your house all of the days of my life, gazing on your beauty, seeking you in your temple.” You see, that is the prayer of a man after God’s own heart who said, “What I really want, God, is you.”
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: “You’re what I desire, so I have full assurance you’re going to give me what I desire because what I desire is holy, pure, and the best possible thing you could give me. It’s you yourself. It’s your presence. It’s walking daily with you. Lord, you can keep the money. Lord, what I really want is you.”
Sammy: Yeah. As you share that, I’m reminded of the apostle Paul saying, “I’m content if I abound or if I abase, if I have a lot or if I don’t have much. I’m content. God is meeting my needs. I’m content.” I think that what happens is we have a tendency to compare. We forget, as you said, that God is doing different things in different people at different times.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: If we can just understand that… There may be a guy over here who God has blessed to be a multimillionaire because he’s going to impact people, reach people, and do some things nobody else will be able to do. That’s what God has called him to do. There may be someone else over here who is just this poor guy out there but loves Jesus. Both of them are in just the same place in the kingdom, but God is meeting their needs to do what he has given them to do.
If this guy weren’t poor, he wouldn’t be around these people. These people wouldn’t have the Spirit of God working in them. God works in us, so we need to learn that contentment, realizing God will meet every single need we have. The Bible says, “But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” So God will meet your needs. Bring them to him. Don’t be afraid of that. You come to him. He loves you. You’re his child.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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