Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Faith for much

"The Widow's Oil"- 1695 woodcut
by Johann Christoph Weigel

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 2 Kings 4:1-17
TO CHEW ON: Then he said, 'Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours — empty vessels; do not gather just a few.'" 2 Kings 4:3

When one of the 'sons of the prophets' died, his widow was in trouble. For he hadn't left much of a legacy — two sons, a little oil and a debt. Now the creditor was about to claim the sons as his slaves to pay for that debt.

This destitute women went to Elisha for help. He was a miracle-working prophet with the reputation of having inherited the spirit of his mentor Elijah. His instructions were simple yet faith-challenging. "Go and borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours — empty vessels; do not gather just a few."

Elisha's unspoken message was — God is able to do a big thing, just don't limit Him with your small faith. A footnote to this verse in my Bible says, "The provision was in proportion to the woman's faith and ability to receive" - New Spirit-filled Life Bible, p 485.

In what ways do we need God to intervene for us in miracles today? Are we limiting Him with small faith? What steps of faith (equivalent to borrowing all those containers) could God be asking us to take, to prepare for His extravagant outpouring on our behalf? Do we actually believe He can do this? Are we affirming that faith by preparing for the abundance He has the ability to provide?

"...And try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it'" - Malachi 3:10.

PRAYER: Dear God, please show me any vessel gathering I need to do to prove to myself, to the world, to You my faith in Your limitless ability. Amen.

MORE: Faith wisdom

All quotes taken from Prayer Powerpoints, compiled by Randall D. Roth.

"In order to make sure that we are not retreating from the tension of faith, it is helpful to ask ourselves as we pray, 'Do I really expect anything to happen?' This will prevent us from going window-shopping in prayer."
- Catherine Marshall - p. 68

"If you pray for bread and bring no basket to carry it, you prove the doubting spirit which may be the only hindrance to the gift you ask."
- D. L. Moody - p. 65

"Prayer is asking for rain.
Faith is carrying the umbrella."
- Robert C. Savage, p. 64

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