Danielle Diprose on What Comes Next: Administration
"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."
The Apostle Paul knows his mission. He knows what he is called for. He knows how to stick to it: to be content and to resource it faithfully.
Like Paul, when we know our mission, what God has called us to as a body of believers, serving in our local communities and ministries, we have the platform to stand on and hold tight to in any and every situation.
Content in Christ
But to leverage that calling, Paul also knew contentment in Christ. He knew who it is who gives strength to sustain that calling. This strength isn’t a teeth gritting acceptance of the situation, a looking over your shoulder or checking out someone else’s grass. It is a strength flowing from a calm assurance that Christ is on the throne and he is faithful.
And only from that platform can we have the calm assurance that the actions we take, with the resources we have, are having the full impact they were intended for.
In the situation Paul was in, and wrote about, resources were the immediate physical needs of food and money to provide sustenance for his body.
As we look around our communities we also have those needs coming to the surface and are rightfully stepping up to be the ones who provide, like the Philippian Church did for Paul.
But at the same time we need to keep in mind the bigger picture, the longer narrative, the full game.
What is God calling us to?
Is God calling us into sacrifice, like Paul, for the bigger mission that he has planted in our hearts?
Is God calling us into contentment in every situation that we are faced with in this season?
Is God calling us into faithfully sticking to our mission to leverage our resources – financial, time and skills – to better equip our church, camp or ministry to refocus in this next season?
Knowing that our physical sustenance comes from God’s manna allows us to refocus the resources that we have in our hands at this time to better impact the world around us for the gospel.