2 Kings 4:1-7 Now one of the wives of a man of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha [for help], saying “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant [reverently] feared the Lord; but the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves [in payment for a loan].” 2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have [of value] in the house?” She said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers—and not just a few. 4 Then you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out [the oil you have] into all these containers, and you shall set aside each one when it is full.” 5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing her the containers as she poured [the oil]. 6 When the containers were all full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” And he said to her, “There is not a one left.” Then the oil stopped [multiplying]. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
I’d like to discuss several things that we can learn from this story of the widow who came to Elisha requesting help – her husband had died and left her with a debt she could not pay. She had obviously sold all that she had because she had nothing left except a jar of oil, but she had still not raised enough money to pay off her debtors. They were threatening to take her sons to work them as slaves until her debt was paid.
She was at the end of her rope. And as most of us do, when our backs are up against a wall, we run to the Lord for help. She had done all that she could do to raise the money, but now, she needed a miracle.
Elisha told her to go borrow containers from her neighbors – and “not just a few”.
That is a very significant statement. When we need a miracle from God, we should ask ourselves: how much of a miracle do we really want? How much are we preparing for? It seems that she was only limited by how many containers she was willing to gather.
When we go to God asking for help in any situation, do we prepare to receive what we ask? We may not have to do the things that the widow did, but should we not prepare our hearts to receive what we ask of the Lord?
How do we prepare our hearts to receive?
- Believe that He will indeed answer our prayer.
- Rather than gathering containers, we need to gather His Word into our hearts and meditate on His faith-building promises.
- The widow went into her house and shut the door – we need to shut out the distractions of the world and spend time with God, focusing on Him alone.
- Then, the widow began pouring the oil into the empty containers. As she did, the oil began to multiply. Nothing happened until, she started pouring. I believe the oil that we need to pour into our empty containers is PRAISE. As we begin to give God praise our hearts begin to brim and overflow with gratitude and this moves things in our favor in the unseen realm of faith. Pour praise into the empty containers of your life (your container of broken relationships, your container of lack, your container of grief, etc.). And I believe you will begin to see great blessings flow from those empty places.
- Prepare for a great outpouring by gathering “not just a few”. Pour praise into your everyday life, not just when you are in need…not just when you are desperate…make it a way of life. Elisha made a provision not only for the immediate need she had, but he told her to live on the rest. We can live in God’s abundance every day when we make praise a priority.
The oil only stopped flowing when she stopped pouring. How much do you want to be blessed? Make praise a way of life. If you will do this, I believe you will see your seasons of emptiness growing fewer and fewer and that God’s blessings of abundance and limitless joy will be poured out upon you without end. God bless you my friend!
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