Listen to God’s Word in 2 Kings 4:1-7 to find 4 steps that lead to provision in time of need.
“The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.’ Elisha replied to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’ ‘Your servant has nothing there at all,’ she said, ‘except a little oil.’ Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.’ She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one.’ But he replied, ‘There is not a jar left.’ Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.’ ” (NIV)
1. See the little you have, not what you don’t have.
At the place where you have nothing at all, in your desperation, look and see the “little oil” that you have, not what you don’t have. It may be financial need, or the grace to handle a difficult person, or the courage to try something new. Your identity may be at stake, because in the Old Testament world when a woman’s husband died, she lost her identity and standing in the community. Don’t major on your inadequacy or lack. Don’t bind yourself with vows like “I can’t …” “It’s impossible …” “I’ll never be able to …”
2. Look into the face of God, listen for His voice and follow His instruction.
Whatever He says, do it quickly and thoroughly. Gather “empty jars,” as many as He says. Behind closed doors, in your prayer closet, present the vessels to Him in the secret place. The widow poured oil into each one until it was full. Keep doing whatever God says. The oil flowed until all the vessels were filled, as many as the woman presented to God. Today, be blessed to know that whatever “jars” of your emptiness you present, God will fill them full with provision for today and for the future.
3. Watch over this process of obedience to Him.
The widow did not tell the neighbors what she was doing. Some people cannot understand your journey. Everyone does not see what you see or have the relationship with God that you have. You are uniquely in process with Him. Others may try to talk you out of your faith, or discourage you, or make you feel inadequate and unworthy. Listen to God and protect His communication with you by knowing when to speak and when to be silent.
4. Be confident that your Father takes good care of what is His.
Sparrows find nesting places, and panting deer find water. You are more valuable than all of these (Matthew 6:26). He numbers the hairs on your head, and He knows your needs (Matthew 6:32). He promises to feed you with the finest wheat and satisfy you with honey from the rock (Psalm 81:16). He himself is your provision. Be blessed in His daily blessings, answered prayers and undeserved favors.
Devotional courtesy of The Father’s Business.
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