“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
“From Empty to Full” – Part 5
“Fullness” – Containing all that is possible. Complete in every detail.
How many empty pots are there in my life?
Do I believe God’s abundance is “infinite” enough to fill me to the brim?
“His love has no limit;
His grace has no measure.
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.”
Annie Johnson Flint, Poet
“Do you think that to one devoted … to one dear to the Lord anything will be lacking?”
Cyprian of Carthage
Did you bring your empty pots along with you today? How many jugs and pots did you draw on your paper yesterday? Five? Ten? Twenty? Or maybe the number of empty “jars” in your life that need filling is even more!
Today, we are going to take a look at how God fills the “empty” pots in our lives. We will do this by revisiting our widowed mother in 2 Kings Chapter 4.
Yesterday, we read how Elisha told the widowed mother to go out and borrow or collect every pot she could from anybody who would give her one. Let’s remember, Elisha told her, “Don’t borrow a few!” She was to stop thinking about her lack and instead focus on God’s abundance.
Then Elisha gave her more instructions. She was to take all the pots into her house until she couldn’t get anymore inside. She was to close the door to her house. Then she was to get her small bottle of oil and start pouring; and finally she was to pour until all the jars were filled.
Now I have read this story before but, in studying it this time, I found four important lessons that pertain to the way God fills us up when we are empty.
Lesson #1: The number of pots the widow was to collect was not based on how much money she needed to pay her creditors. In other words, God doesn’t respond to my “limited need” – He responds out of His “abundant resources.” The widow wasn’t to say, “I need ten pots of oil at $10 a pot so I can pay $100.” She was to go out and get as many pots as she could fit into her house – that’s abundance. God says to you – don’t limitMe by your need. I have bigger plans for you. My abundance is above and beyond.
Lesson #2: God meets our needs immediately and often very privately, very quietly, very personally. The widow was to go into her home with her sons and close the door. God was at work within the walls of her home to perform a miracle that would save her family. And yes, the neighbors had a part to play – they loaned or gave the mother pots, but the miracle took place within the confines of the family circle. I like to think of the “neighbors’ pots” as “neighbors’ prayers.” Sometimes, as outsiders, the best thing you can do for others is pray for them. This is why I love the Circle of Prayer here at Transformation Garden. I don’t have the wisdom as a flawed human to know how to solve your family problems – but God does.
However, I can pray for you – I can give you a “pot” that God uses in His personal healing work inside the walls of your home.
Lesson #3: The mother was to use what she had and do what God asked. She had a jar of oil. God needed her oil. She had to get the bottle and trust that in God’s hands it would be used wisely. Then she had to give the oil to Him. It was no longer her oil – it became God’s oil. And here’s where I realize I sometimes have a “Dorothy” problem. This mother had to release everything she had to God before He went to work. If you are a little like I am, there always seems to be some little corner of “me” that I want to hang onto to. I think I know better than God does how things should go. Have you ever found yourself with a struggle in your life like this? It’s tough! But God says, “Turn the oil over to me, Dorothy. I need everything and then watch me work!”
Lesson #4: The widow was to pour until every pot was filled – including her own. Stop a minute! It took me some time to understand what this story was saying. First – the more pots the widow had, the more oil she had. This means that if you drew 100 pots on your paper, God can fill 100 pots. He will fill what we lay before Him. Second and please remember this, the widow’s own pot NEVER ran out of oil. She didn’t have less because she poured more! God gave her enough resources to fill everything – every pot she had collected plus her own. You will never be diminished because you give everything to God. Instead, your emptiness will be replaced by God’s oil.
Don’t you love the idea of living in God’s plenty rather than our lack? But here’s the bottom line – this isn’t just some idea or some story written on paper. This is the absolute, actual way God works in our lives everyday – right here, right now!
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus.”
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
King James Version
“I have come that (they) may have life, and have it to the full.”
New International Version
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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