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*THE STATE OF THE BELIEVER*By Charles Wages

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*THE STATE OF THE BELIEVER*By Charles Wages Empty *THE STATE OF THE BELIEVER*By Charles Wages

Post  Admin on Sat 16 Oct 2010, 12:35 pm

*THE STATE OF THE BELIEVER*
*By Charles Wages*
*
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever
state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I
know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to
be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil. 4:11-13)

It has often been pointed out that there is a difference between the
standing of the believer and the state of the believer. Our standing as
a child of God never changes. Since trusting Christ as Saviour, we have
been placed in an eternal position by the eternal salvation that God has
so graciously given. However, our state as to how we act and react while
living in fleshly, earthly bodies has its ups and downs and changes as
to how we live on earth.

Without pursuing the difference between our standing and state, we will
concentrate on the state of the believer. I believe the scripture given,
(Phil. 4:11-13), refers primarily to the apostle Pauls life as he served
God on earth. They, also, refer to the physical necessities in order to
live for and serve the Lord in the ministry God had given him. This can
be confirmed by the words hungry and full. However, that never seems to
be Pauls primary concern, however necessary it might be. His primary
concern was how to fulfill the ministry God had given him to preach,
teach, and to help others serve the Lord. He wanted his state to be one
in which his life would count for God. Therefore, his state was not just
one of being hungry or completely satisfied.

God is interested in our emotional state, that is how we act and react
to events, personal relationships, and the ups and downs that attend our
human lives. The book of Philippians is characterized by the words joy
and rejoice, and encouragement to trust the Lord to take care of us in
every circumstance. Read and reread that wonderful passage in
Philippians 4:5-7:

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be
careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of
God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.

The expression be careful for nothing is encouraging us to not be
anxious or apprehensive about conditions beyond our control. The apostle
Paul endured terrible experiences, physically and emotionally, and
spiritually. However, he was able to write words of encouragement to
believers. In 2 Corinthians 1:8, he accounted his troubles in Asia and
then wrote, in that we despaired even of life. To despair utterly means
to give up on life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. How
refreshing to read what the Spirit led Paul to pen in 2 Corinthians 4:8:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but
not in despair; Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed.

And then to write in 2 Corinthians 4:18,

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which
are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things
which are not seen are eternal.

God is able to lift us from the depths of despair to the heights of
heavenly joy. What truths to aid us in our emotional state! Yes, it is
possible to be well fed physically, but down in the dumps emotionally.

God, no doubt, is interested in our state as to the daily necessities of
food, shelter, clothing, etc. However, the most important aspect of our
lives is our spiritual state. God is interested in the well-being of all
His children. To illustrate this, the Word of God is often referred to
as food items. For example, we read of milk, honey, bread in reference
to the Scriptures. Its possible to abound and be fed as to the physical
necessities and be starving spiritually! We could be rich in this
world's goods and be starving spiritually. This is the state of the
majority of people in the world system. The wonderful verse in
Philippians 4:19, doesn't just apply to our physical needs.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus.

We remember the warning of our Lord to a person who wanted his brother
to divide his inheritance with him.

Take heed and beware of covetousness; for a mans life consisteth not in
the abundance of things which he possesseth. (Luke 12:15)

The spiritual state of the believer is of utmost importance to the Lord.
This speaks of our relationship to the Lord and determines the course of
our lives as to the here and hereafter, the temporal and the eternal. To
be healthy physically, we must eat the proper food; to be emotionally
stable, we have to trust the Lord to strengthen us; to be strong and
sound in the faith, we must partake of Gods spiritual food, the Word of
God.

Our state vitally affects our life and service for the Lord. When we are
emotionally upset and distraught, it is difficult to live and serve God.
When we are spiritually bankrupt, it is impossible to serve in an
acceptable way the Lord who loves us so much.

Yes, our standing as believers is secure; our state is sometimes shaky.
God is taking care of our standing (Col. 2:10), we are greatly
responsible for our state. We should depend upon God's ever present help
to sustain and stablish.

I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13).

We often speak of the state of the Union, the state of our affairs, or
our state of mind, but what about our spiritual state? It is so easy to
become cold, indifferent, and even spiritually dead. It concerns more
than our physical which can be a state of mind. It concerns our hearts.
It involves more than our relationships with people. It concerns our
relationship to the Lord and His Word. It is one thing to be content
with our physical condition, but quite another to be content and
self-satisfied with our spiritual condition. It is of utmost importance
that believers stay close to the Lord through prayer, study of the Word,
and fellowship with His children. We should be concerned with the
spiritual condition of God's children. We can do this by being
spiritually strong ourselves. Consider what Paul wrote in Colossians 4:7:

All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother,
and a faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord.

Also in Philippians 2:19-20:

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I
also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man,
likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

May we be able to help others in their spiritual lives by being strong
in the Lord ourselves.
Admin
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