“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
Christ is sufficient to meet every need of whoever will trust Him. It is a purposely broad statement because God is able to do exactly as He is represented by the Apostle Paul. Only faith will take those words to mean what they imply. Jesus is our supply for everything. God cannot be blamed for our unwillingness or inaptness to make as much of that statement as faith will allow. Those who do not believe, but want the benefits, will utter the name of Jesus like an incantation, hoping to get the results, but God cannot be fooled.
For instance, the Book of Acts illustrates how unbelief cannot cast out a demon, even in the name of Jesus. “11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out. 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you? 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding” (Acts 19:11-16 NIV).
Christ is sufficient for our every need, but who is Christ? Each of us has a different reaction to Christ, but all of us are affected. We may not be able to describe with precision Christ’s affect upon us, but we need to seek the Spirit of God’s help through Scripture to understand how He influences us. To illustrate, Jesus made the statement to His disciples, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to Myself” (John 12:32 NIV). What is this magnetic attraction of Christ? Who are we to be so influenced by Christ, imperceptibly or strongly? In the physical world, magnets attract opposites. We are sinful, and Christ is holy. The Gospel speaks of the love of God giving His Son for the sins of the world “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). We may not be able to list the genealogy of Christ or describe the intricacies of His relationship to the Father and the Spirit, but we are more and more drawn to Him, as we comprehend Him in relation to our circumstances. In the past, our “heart has become calloused” (Matthew 13:15 NIV) with sin, so we did not see, hear, or understand Him. But, as we began to sense our deficiencies, we repented. Then we became more like the attractive force of Christ, which beckons the world, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me [Christ] and drink” (John 7:37 NIV). Christ is sufficient to deal with all our sin, because “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2Corinthians 5:21 NIV).
Christ is sufficient for our every need, but how sufficient is sufficient? We have the tendency to define things by our own experience because it is one of the few positions we think we understand. But, have we considered that God would be the best one to set the standard for any experience? For instance, in each day of Creation, God “saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10,12,18,21,25 NIV), He set the standard for good. Just so, sufficient is sufficient, when God says so. Our difficulty is adjusting our standard to His. Humanism takes great pride in defining its own standard, but the “world through its wisdom did not know Him” (1Corinthians 1:21 NIV). Our challenge is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us when sufficient is sufficient. We are closer to realizing the attainability of God’s standard than we think. It was certainly in the mind of Christ for us to experience the reality of His kingdom on earth before our translation into His heavenly presence. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 NIV). Though we know that True Perfection is found only in God, we also know that Christ expects us to experience that perfection in Him now. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 NIV). If we discount Christ’s statements from the Sermon on the Mount, then we will never find the “riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV) sufficient to meet all our need, now or ever. If it takes a heavenly mindset for us to experience Christ as our sufficiency, then may it happen now. “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV).
Christ is sufficient for every need, but what is really a need? Some may object that Christ’s sufficiency to meet all the needs of humanity is over reaching and unintended by God from the outset. Why would God commit Himself to providing for everyone? Case in point, why do people suffer starvation, if God is sufficient to meet every need? Perhaps the Psalmist could help explain. “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalm 37:25 NIV). God does make a difference for those who trust Him. But, does God support even those who do not trust Him? “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45 NIV). Yes, gravity works for the godly and ungodly; for “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4 NIV). And, for those who never repent, God will be justified in the final judgment. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2Corinthians 5:10 NIV). He will ask, Why did you not repent, when given all that mercy? Pride locks the human heart into impenitence. However, “those who walk in pride He is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37 NIV), if only the godly would intercede for the proud to bring about their repentance. “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things” (2Corinthians 2:16 KJV). Christ is our sufficiency, and by His grace, we petition Him to look upon our intercession, to declare our needs, as His needs, and grant them for our good, the salvation of the proud, and the glory of God.
Father, impress upon us by Your Spirit the reality of the sufficiency of Christ to meet our every need. May we be humbly open to the Spirit’s leading to apply the sufficiency of Christ to every situation. May we be gently unwilling to not have it otherwise. Spirit of God, empty us of ourselves. Fill us with Your blessed self. Cause us to walk in the blessed assurance of the sufficiency of Christ for our every need.
Amen and amen.