Week of June 10
The Widow’s Oil
Are you in a situation where you feel inadequate? Do you feel like you have nothing to offer? Have you tried every human solution possible, only to realize you have no further options? If so, you can rejoice because your brokenness can be the foundation for God to do great things in your life. If you surrender to Him, God can bless you and fill you with the joy that only He can give.
Whatever we go through, whether small or large, God wants us to surrender to Him. When we lie our problems at the feet of Christ - truly place His will above ours - God is able to work fully in our lives.
Read 2 Kings 4:1-7. In this passage we read about a woman in a place of bankruptcy and shame. Her husband had died and left her a debt she could not possibly pay; the only thing she could do was throw herself upon the mercy of Elisha.
Elisha did not offer to pay her debts. He instead asked her, “Tell me, what do you have in your house?” (2 Kings 4:2) God’s plan for our lives always begins with what we have. The widow did not have much—only a little oil. Yet she offered it to Elisha, hoping he could use it to help her. She did not try to hoard it or hide it from him. She surrendered the little bit she had.
Likewise, God does not want us to hold back from Him. He wants us to surrender whatever we have left. He wants us to come clean with Him and confess whatever we are trying to hide from Him. When we give God everything, He can use the tiniest jar of oil to bless us.
Elisha told the widow to borrow as many empty jars as she could, then to pour the oil into the jars. These borrowed vessels showed the woman’s capacity to receive from God. The more vessels she had, the more she was going to receive. The more empty the jars were, the more oil that would fill them. The moment she ran out of empty vessels, the oil stopped flowing.
God will only bless us as much as we make available for Him to bless us. We cannot pick and choose areas of our lives to allow God to work—we must surrender everything to Him. Like the widow’s jars, if we are filled with other things—bitterness, a critical spirit, greed, selfishness—then God’s Holy Spirit cannot be poured into us.
Elisha also instructed the widow to close the door when she was pouring the oil: “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” (2 Kings 4:4). We need to get into our prayer closets and shut the doors. We need to shut out all distractions, anxieties, and worldliness that prevent us from surrendering to God. We need to put our focus on Him, and Him alone.
The widow did as Elisha told her: “She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.…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’” (2 Kings 4:5,7). God multiplied her few drops of oil into a great blessing.
When we are broken before God, He begins to pour great blessings into our lives. When we repent and yield completely to Him, He can transform our lives. Are you broken before God today? Or do you still hold on to areas in your life—sin, ambition, money, relationships—that you hoard away from Him? Daily pray for the Holy Spirit’s help to let go of that and allow God complete control in your life.
Don’t be tempted to toss in the towel and give up running the race. Shore up your confidence in God, today. Michael Youssef explores this topic in our free resource this month—”Don’t Lose Your Confidence.” Download it today.
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