10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
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.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:10-19
I love Paul’s singularly spiritual focus. The Bible says:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
The Apostle Paul had true faith. He did not see things that are seen, but rather, things that are unseen. He did not touch or talk of the substance of things that are seen but, rather, things that are hoped for!
In our key scripture, notice he talks of
“fruit that may abound to your account.”
The sole reason that Paul rejoices over the Philippians giving is for the fruit that would abound to their account. So, what is the fruit, and what is the account? The fruit is no doubt spiritual fruit, and the account is a heavenly one. Jesus told the rich young ruler:
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Mat. 19:21)
Jesus did not talk of this world, nor of any hope in this world. He talked consistently about His Father’s heavenly Kingdom. When Paul, therefore, who was a follower of Jesus talks of “fruit” and “account” he is referring to these things in the Spirit.
On the contrary, when we are walking in the flesh, we think of and refer to these things in the natural. We think in terms of money, houses, lands, jobs, promotion, marriage, children and all the other natural blessings that we can receive from God. And this is what the church is filled with today. Preachers are directing God’s people to these things instead of to the spiritual things. We serve God to receive natural rewards! Today, giving in church is all tied to receiving in the natural! But the Apostle Paul writes:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19)!
If all we can see are the things of this world, the church cannot be said to be pleasing God because the Bible says that we can only please God when we are walking in faith and, as we just saw,
“…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith sees in the Spirit; the flesh does not. When we are spiritual, like Paul was, we can see and direct God’s people to a spiritual reward. Here in this world, we can see (in the Spirit) the grace that will be ours as a result of giving of our lives; and beyond that, we can have hope of a heavenly reward.
[When we see in the Spirit, it means we can see beyond the curve of time, literally]