Horn of Oil Day 9
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This scripture has been used in many sermons down through the years because of its’ empowering message about survival through life. Paul was speaking to the very poor church of Philippi. They were the only church from all his mission trips who had presented an offering to him to assist him while he did kingdom building. Imagine that, not having enough, but having a heart to give to someone else. This church had learned the testimony from the Word of God, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”(Acts 20:35)
Paul expresses his witness as well to the total sufficiency of Christ. Although he was very appreciative of the gift from Philippi, he desired to let them know that he had a constant supporter, Jesus Christ, whom he casted his total trust. I am certain that all who have been through ups and downs in life, can attest to the fact that our trust in God grows and develops as HE follows us through our trying times. Paul was telling us not what he thought or what he was guessing; he was telling us what he knew. He had learned things in trying times that would be invaluable for his life’s survival. First and foremost, Paul had learned that life has challenges and life never stays the same. There will be times in your life when things will be good and you are able to abound, but there will also come times when we must abase. To gain further clarity we must examine why he paired the two words. Abounding is more than enough and abase means to be in a place of shame or at the bottom of rank. Paul was alluding to how our countenance and how we feel about ourselves changes based upon our resources and our followers.
When we have more than enough, we are on top of the world, but when our finances are low, we are ashamed and defeated! How we feel about life or ourselves should not shift because we don’t have money, family support or lots of friends. Our strength to overcome can not be placed in money or people because they both will be seasonal. Just like the weather, seasons change; one moment life can hot then the next moment it can become freezing cold. Yet, we must learn to live through all seasons without changing our ability to overcome.
Paul’s one statement can be used as advice for life. “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) Hot or cold, we as believers should still be overcomers.
These words resound in my ears when things are not going well in my life. I use low times and dry times as my season to find satisfaction outside of what is lacking. Turn your off season on by finding something to be happy about, find something to be pleased with, and I can guarantee that all other things will be temporary but God’s Word will become your constant go to. God uses those times to bring us back to HIM. HIS Words are comforting, encouraging and empowering. Many of us have attended church during abase times and the Lord has had a Word to lift our spirits and give us direction to keep on keeping on. So, I understand why Paul finished with, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” If it had not been for the strengthening Words from the Lord during my most difficult of times in life, I would have crumbled.
During this fast, allow yourself to hunger. Allow yourself to want something that you can’t have. The Lord uses hungry times for us to learn to salivate for HIM, and HIS Words to fill us. Use our fast as a drill or preparation for our next abase season. Trust me, if you are not abasing right now, that time is coming. Regardless of what is missing in your life, the Lord Jesus is always available and always ready to help fill the gap. The Lord will not leave you hungry! (Matthew 5:6) You will always leave HIS Word satisfied because Jesus is the bread of life, when you taste HIM, you shall not hunger and if you have faith in HIM, you won’t thirst for something else instead. (John 6:35)
The church of Philippi gave while they abased. They realized they could abound in hard times. What about you? Are you able to give out of your not enough?
Day 8 of the Daniel Fast- Abounding while I Abase!