God Uses What He Gave Us
What Did The Widow Have?
The widow replied to Elisha, "Nothing except a jar of oil.".
Oil may not seem like much in today's world, but in this time of the Old Testament, oil was considered a "hot commodity".
Oil was like money or gold!
Oil was used for cooking, but more importantly it was used when anointing kings and priests in the Old Testament; so it served and still serves as a type of ministry of the Spirit.
Some denominations still use oil to anoint, today.
Oil can be seen as a type of the Spirit in Zechariah 4, where the oil flowed constantly from the lamp, representing the constant flow of God's power, "not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit" (verse 6).
While that is great reminder and lesson, the focus here with the widow in 2 Kings 4, is to show us that the Lord takes what He has already given us, like our talents, gifts, finances,physical abilities, and multiplies them, if we have faith to trust Him.
We need to trust Him to take what we have and multiply it.
The widow was so poor, she literally only had this small amount of oil.
She may have been using it sparingly to cook with, when she had other ingredients, or she may have been saving it for her own burial.
It doesn't matter what the purpose of the item or gift is for, the principle of the lesson is the same.
God usually meets our needs.
And He does this by taking what we have and multiplying it, all while we turn our lives over to Him, and obey the principles of His word.
This is true for talents, gifts, finances, and even physical assets.
What Do You Have That He Can Use?
Take an inventory of what you have, in all areas of your life, and surrender them to the Lord.
Use those blessings as "good stewards" of His grace.
No matter their size.
Taking an inventory of our lives reminds me of two stories in the Bible.
In Mark 6:30-44, when God turned four loaves of bread and two fish, into enough to feed five thousand men!
The disciples kept passing out the bread and fish until every person had ate, and at the end, the disciples looked into the twelve baskets and all that was left was broken pieces of the food!
Again in 1 Kings 17:8-15, Elijah (Elisha's predecessor) was sent to be a vessel to a widow in Zarupath, he asked the widow for a loaf of bread, and the Bible makes it sound like she was politely telling him 'no'.
She stated she was going home to use the oil and flour she did have to make bread for her and her son, and her flour and oil would only go far enough to feed the two of them, she added that they would then wait and die.
Elijah told her that the Lord said, "The jar of flour will not be used up and jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.".
The widow went and did what Elijah told her, and there was food every day for Elijah, the widow and her family!
In each of these stories, these believers gave what they had to God.
In turn, he multiplied it all, and they were able to not only use it to take care of themselves, but also bless others!
What Do You Have To Give?
Too often, in today's world, people want to win the lottery or for what they need to just 'fall in their lap'.
God does supply from unknown places, and certainly does supply in ways beyond our own imagination and expectations, thankfully!
But, it is our responsibility to give what we have, no matter the size, to Him!
It is very common to wonder what it is that we need to give to Him to multiply.
It is even common to question if you have anything of value that He could use.
I struggle with this myself.
"How do I know my purpose?"
"How do I know my gifts?"
It sounds too simple to be true, but the best way I can tell you to find out the answer to those questions, is to ask Him to show you.
Maybe He wants you to use your gift of taking care of others to be a nurse.
Maybe He gifted you the ability to teach kids, use that!
There are so many gifts you can use to help your family, to help others.
When we use what we have, what He has already given us, HE WILL BLESS US!
He will multiply those talents He gave you and turn it into something to bless others and you, too!
Next Week: Did The Widow's Oil Pay Her Debt?