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what counts?

24-02-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet

In response to the previous blog, I received a question, whether I meant to say that praying for earthly blessings would be an act of unbelief, a waste of time and an ignoring of the words in Philippians 4:6? My answer is that I certainly did not intend to suggest this. Precisely the above verse speaks of “… in all the wishes to make known God,” regardless of what we desire to request. Is there a deep concern from the heart? Request God to take care of it, thanking Him beforehand for what He will provide. A combination of prayer and thanksgiving is vital, while realizing that God is able to heal and will always give the very best. That Paul did not pray about his earthly circumstances, is not a judgment but an observation. Anyone who becomes aware of Paul’s circumstances (e.g., read 2Cor.12:23-28), would think that these would be high on his prayer-agenda. Imagine: in jails, in mortal dangers, in shipwrecks, days without food, nights without sleep, in cold, without clothing, in a multitude of hazards, etc. All this makes it that more impressive that Paul’s attention is hardly focused on these! He was no stranger to the realities of this world, but he knew: I can do all through Christ Who strengthens me (Phil.4:13). That was not an ideal to which he aspired, but a starting point out of which he lived. What a vision this man had, that all earthly troubles, evidently, shrunk into insignificant side-issues! For whomever the whole horizon is filled with daily concerns, this is difficult to fathom. But for those who once had a revelation from GOD’S future, the few decades they have to spend in this temporary vale of tears do not amount to more than a few grains of sand on an endless beach (>2Cor.4:17-18). Who once has seen that light, will get a special gleam in his eyes – “enlightened eyes of the heart”! And that is what Paul pursued (Phil.3:12), and this was the great theme of his prayer-life, not merely for himself, but also for others; that in this life we would firmly stand, clearly seeing the immeasurable reality of “GOD’S Plan of the eons” (Eph.3:11) and therefore have the ability to relativize all earthly things.   ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema